Barak and Ashkenazi tour north 248.88.
(photo credit: Defense Ministry )
Defense Minister Ehud Barak hailed the efforts of IDF troops on Tuesday afternoon, hours after the army killed two Gaza gunmen planting bombs along the border fence.
"The incident shows that IDF troops are extremely alert, they see what's happening, and when someone tries to plant bombs along the border, they act quickly and two terrorists are dead," he said during a tour of the North. "It's very good that the IDF is ready and alert to defend the border."
Barak visited the northern border with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, OC Northern Command Gadi Eizencott and IDF commanders currently stationed in the region.
They were briefed at the Har Dov lookout post on the readiness of the forces there.
The defense minister said that the Haruv Battalion was "standing ready" along the entire length of the border.
"We feel that we are monitoring, understanding, gaining knowledge and seeing, but we still have to be prepared for every development," he said.
Regarding reports of IAF strikes on Gaza-bound arms convoys in Sudan, Barak said, "I don't believe we are in the privileged position to talk too much. We must do what needs to be done and keep quiet."
Barak had similar remarks regarding efforts to secure the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
"I think that also on this subject, the less said about it the better," he said. "Of course, we will continue to examine every method and take every appropriate step possible to bring Gilad home."
Barak also spoke about Monday's decision by the Military Police to close the investigation into claims made by graduates of the Rabin pre-Military Academy that IDF soldiers had indiscriminately shot at civilians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
"I was very happy to see the report by the IDF judge advocate-general about the rumors that had spread, not only in Israel, but with very damaging effects around the world," he said. "There is now no doubt about the conduct of the IDF, and I repeat: there is no army that investigates itself so thoroughly."
Barak said the findings proved once again that the IDF was the most moral army in the world.
"Sometimes, civilians are also killed, but there is no army that carries out its missions with such integrity, professionalism and devotion, and that tries so hard to avoid harming non-combatants," the defense minister maintained.
When asked a question about the new government's inauguration, Barak replied: "We have come to be with the soldiers, give us a few hours break from politics."