Outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Israel's enemies against using the political chaos in the Knesset to attack Israel in the South during a visit on Wednesday to the IDF's Gaza Division, based in the Negev.
"We are in a period of political instability, but the security stability we have created must remain," Bennett said following a situational assessment with OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano, Gaza Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Nimrod Aloni and other security officials.
"I would not advise anyone on the other side to try and challenge Israel's security stability," Bennett said in a warning to Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip. The Jerusalem Post reported earlier this week that Palestinian terror groups' appetite for attacks on Israel is likely to increase after the collapse of the coalition.
The prime minister lauded his government's security work over the past year, saying that "we just wrapped up the most peaceful year for southern Israel residents in 15 years."
Before Bennett and Lapid announced they would dissolve the Knesset this week, the prime minister spoke proudly of his security achievements during his 12-month tenure. Included is the Jerusalem Day flag march, which proceeded as planned due to Bennett "not giving into Hamas threats" to attack Israel.
After the situational assessment, Bennett said more and more Israeli families are moving to the south, because "peace, quiet and security is now the new normal" in the area.
"Peace, quiet and security is now the new normal in Israel's South"Prime Minister Naftali Bennet
The issues discussed in the situational assessment focused on Israel's strategy in the southern theater with the Palestinians, especially in the strip. The operational situation was presented to the prime minister.
Following his visit to the southern division, Bennett met with Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, which borders the strip from its West. The prime minister also met with a group of the regional council's residents.
The prime minister told Yarkoni and his residents that he wishes for the quiet they have experienced over the last 12 months to continue.