Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman officially took over as the head of the IDF Southern Command on Thursday, replacing Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo, who is retiring after 35 years of service.
- Analysis: Back to dangerous reality
- First time since Pillar of Defense: IAF strikes in Gaza
2 Gaza rockets explode near Sderot; none hurt
During a ceremony at the Southern Command headquarters in Beersheba, with the participation of IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and other senior officers, Turgeman, 49, said "the past few years, and even the past few days, have taught us about the high level of sensitivity of the southern arena and its influence on security and the sense of security in many parts of the country.
Turgeman (L), with Gantz and Russo (Photo: Herzel Yosef)
"A quick glance around us reveals new and old threats, close and far, that present before us a complex and sensitive reality," he said during the ceremony. "With the ability and preparedness of our units we will deter (Israel's enemies) from fighting (us), but if (there will be fighting), we will strike shrewdly and forcefully."
IDF chief Gantz told those on hand that Gaza is "unstable and will continue to be hostile in the near future. Of course, Hamas is responsible for this, and we must not allow a reality of dripping (of rocket fire on Israel).
Also on Thursday, Brig.-Gen. Tamir Yadai was appointed head of the Judea and Samaria Brigade by the IDF's Central Command chief, Maj.-Gen. Nitzal Alon. Yadai is replacing Brig.-Gen. Hagai Mordechai, who served in the position for a year-and-a-half.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop