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Netanyahu: We bow our heads to the fallen soldiers, but carry on with operation

Prime minister sends condolences to families of the 13 Golani soldiers killed in Gaza: 'There isn't a more just war than that in which your sons bravely died in.'

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 07.20.14, 21:07 / Israel News

The fall of the Golani Brigade soldiers is painful and difficult, but Israel continues its Gaza operation full speed ahead - that's the message coming from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night in a press conference he held with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, following the death of 13 IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours.

 

 

"We bow our heads to our fallen sons, who died so we could continue living in our country," Netanyahu said at the beginning of his remarks. "I would like to express, on behalf of the government of Israel and the people of Israel, the deep pain we feel. We send our condolences to the parents, children, partners and families of the IDF soldiers who fell in battle. I want to tell you, there isn't a war more just war than that in which your sons bravely died in."

 

The prime minister promised "to complete the task to restore calm to the south, central Israel and the rest of the country."

 

"I believe every one of us knows at least one person who is taking part in this operation, and this communal unity, that is unique to us, to our people, is also the secret to our strength," the prime minister said. "We must stand together, united. We must be strong in difficult days, like this day and in days that might come. We are fighting for our home."

 

The prime minister went on to praise the troops fighting in Gaza. "Our troops are operating in the field right now. They are acting professionally, determinedly and strongly - with strong fire power but also strong in spirit."

 

Addressing the families of IDF soldiers, he said: "I'm aware of your concern. We all share it. We're doing everything to protect the lives of our citizens, and also the lives of our soldiers. Israel did not choose to go into this war, but once it has been forced upon us - we will fight until we reach our goal, which is restoring the peace to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time while significantly hurting the terror infrastructure of Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza. We're not afraid, we will continue this operation for as long as necessary."

 

Netanyahu stressed that the ground operation in Gaza is necessary to protect the safety of the people of Israel.

 

"Overnight we exposed more tunnels - tunnels that join the many others we've exposed, some of which have reached inside Israel. Hamas has invested a fortune and years of work in them in order to execute mass terror attacks and commit kidnappings. We found handcuffs and tranquilizers," he said.

 

צילום: דובר צה"ל

סגורסגור

שליחה לחבר

 הקלידו את הקוד המוצג
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IDF exposing terror tunnels

 

The prime minister said that even though the tunnels are not a new threat to Israel, the current operation is on a much larger scale than before.

 

"While this is a move full of risks, it is essential because if we hadn't exposed these tunnels, the results would've been much graver. Tunnels like the ones we've exposed in the past few days could've reached our communities, our kindergartens, our dining halls and the results could've been lethal. This was indeed Hamas' plan, and this is what we're fighting against," Netanyahu said, adding the results achieved by the IDF troops so far have surpassed expectations.

 

The prime minister said that even though the tunnels are not a new threat to Israel, the current operation is on a much larger scale than before.

 

"While this is a move full of risks, it is essential because if we hadn't exposed these tunnels, the results would've been much graver. Tunnels like the ones we've exposed in the past few days could've reached our communities, our kindergartens, our dining halls and the results could've been lethal. This was indeed Hamas' plan, and this is what we're fighting against," Netanyahu said, adding the results achieved by the IDF troops so far have surpassed expectations.

 

Defense Minister Ya'alon has cautioned that there were still long days of fighting ahead.

 

"We must grit our teeth in these hard moments and show patience," he said.

 

"We won't break and we won't back away. The IDF's best commanders and fighters are operating in the Gaza Strip today in order to remove the threat of rockets, terror and tunnels," Ya'alon continued.

 

"The fallen and their friends went into this operation committed, professional, determined and understanding the scope of the mission. They managed to kill dozens of terrorists from Hamas and other groups out in complex urban area, they've managed to thwart terror tunnel attacks - 14 of them so far - infiltrations and rocket launches Hamas planned," the defense minister went on.

 

"The price we pay, unfortunately, is heavy. This is the painful cost of war."

 

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