Barak hails new army technology, lays cornerstone

At cornerstone-laying for base in South, defense minister says Ashkenazi not under attack, but IDF values are.

Defense minister Ehud Barak pointing 311 (photo credit: Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense minister Ehud Barak pointing 311
(photo credit: Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak laid the cornerstone Tuesday for a new IDF site in the Negev that will house its Teleprocessing Branch.
During the ceremony, Barak said the installation should assist the military in dealing with terrorist-related and criminal activity on the southern border, as well as illegal migration.
Barak added that he hoped the border fence with Egypt would be complete within several months.
The base, which is the third of four IDF projects in the Negev, will cost NIS 7 billion to build, out of a total budget of NIS 25b. for southern projects.
“This is the first time that the Teleprocessing Branch will enjoy a working environment suitable for the 21st century.
It’s especially useful for dealing with the cyber sphere, which has become one of the most strategic arenas,” Barak said.
“I’m proud of the fact that the IDF has very impressive achievements in this sphere, and that Israel is at the forefront of the cyber world,” he added.
The defense minister also continued an ongoing tit-for-tat exchange with former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen.
(ret.) Gabi Ashkenazi, following the publication of a draft state comptroller’s report this week that examined a vicious feud between the two men.
Responding to comments by Ashkenazi on Monday that he and his family were subject to an “attack campaign,” Barak said, “The ones who were attacked... by a small group in the IDF leadership are the spirit of the IDF, the values of truth, and command norms.
Israeli democracy was attacked, [as was] the sovereignty of the IDF and the subordination of the chief of General Staff to the chosen defense minister.”
Barak said Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, who had been a contender for the chief of staff post, was a victim of the affair, as were senior officers Chico Tamir and Imad Fares, who were ejected from the army due to disciplinary issues.
“They fell victim to the gap between talk and action, a gap that must be removed,” Barak said.
Ashkenazi dismissed Fares, formerly commander of the Galilee Division, in 2010 after the latter lent his IDF jeep to his wife, who then got into a minor accident. In the official report, Fares said he had been driving the vehicle at the time.