Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Iran, its proxies and all anti-Israel terror groups would fail in their mission to destroy Israel in a ceremony at IDF headquarters on Sunday in which he replaced Benny Gantz.
“The nuclear efforts which Iran is leading, the rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip and all of the firing on IDF forces in Jenin have one common goal: to weaken us, to infect us with fear and to witness our destruction. They will not succeed in this purpose!” said Gallant.
He noted that Iran is “pushing hard toward a nuclear weapon alongside repeated declarations of its aspirations to destroy the State of Israel.”
The defense minister called the rocket threats surrounding Israel on multiple borders as well as Palestinian terror the country’s other most significant security challenges.
He said he would go on the attack against Palestinian terror, something Gallant was known for as a major general while in the IDF.
Ceremony shows strong working ties between Gallant, Gantz
Gallant technically entered office over the weekend, but the ceremony marked the shift officially and showed the strong working ties between the two career military men, a contrast from some other offices where the incoming and outgoing ministers kept each other at arm’s distance in public.
In recent days, the two men have each issued statements emphasizing the importance of keeping the IDF above politics, although Gantz’s statements have been much more sarcastic.
In one potshot, Gantz said he hoped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would violate all of his promises to his coalition partners regarding the IDF (promises which Gantz views as dangerous politicization), the same way Netanyahu had previously violated deals with Gantz (to allow him to rotate into the prime minister’s office.)
On Sunday, Gallant again said he would keep the IDF out of politics.