Gantz: ‘Israel is the strongest country in the region’

i24NEWS

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Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz (C) in a meeting with army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi (L) and Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar in southern Israel, on April 24, 2022.
Elad Malka/IIsraeli Defense MinistryIsrael's Defense Minister Benny Gantz (C) in a meeting with army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi (L) and Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar in southern Israel, on April 24, 2022.

Gantz and top Israeli defense officials assess the situation with militant groups in Gaza

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday held an assessment over recent escalations with militant groups in Gaza, amid continuing Israeli-Palestinian tensions surrounding Jerusalem’s holy basin.

The meeting with top defense officials included Israel’s army (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar, and the IDF’s Southern Command Commander.

“Ramadan is supposed to be a holiday of prayer,” Gantz said at the end of the forum.

“Unfortunately, there are those who hold in their hands stones and Molotov cocktails instead of holy books.”

Violence between Palestinians and Israeli authorities at Jerusalem’s holy site – the Temple Mount for Jews and the al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims – has sparked fears over it escalating into a wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Gantz emphasized that Israel is working to protect Israeli citizens while allowing for the “freedom of worship” during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“In recent days, terrorist organizations in Gaza have fired on Israeli territory,” he noted, referring to four rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel last week.

While no group claimed responsibility for the attacks, Hamas said after one of them that it was “keeping its finger on the trigger.”

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Gantz put the responsibility for such attacks on Hamas, the Palestinian enclave’s governing body.

“Israel is the strongest country in the region,” he continued.

“Terrorist organizations and perpetrators of incitement must remember: those whose economic, civilian, and military situation is unstable will be severely affected by any upheaval.”

Earlier on Sunday, Gantz also met with Beersheba Mayor Rubik Danilovich regarding the process of mobilizing the IDF to Israel’s southern Negev region.

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