A senior IDF official warned Wednesday evening of "a small group of radical lawless settlers" and called for authorities to condemn them.
“There exists a small group of radical lawless settlers and I am calling for their denouncement,” said the outgoing GOC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Roni Numa during his speech at the inauguration ceremony for his replacement, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan.
“The privilege and responsibility of being the GOC Central Commander was handed to me by my friend Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon. This moving moment is an opportunity for me to thank the Chief of Staff for the faith he entrusted in me and for the freedom of action and full support that you gave me," he added. "Continue with your wisdom and determination to strengthen the readiness of the IDF for the challenges of the future.
"During the term I was entrusted to fill, we experienced several violent outbursts during which 63 Israelis, civilians and security forces were killed as a result of terror attacks. Three additional officers died in training exercises. Their pictures and names dance somberly before my eyes," he said as he reflected on his leadership.
“I do not have a better way of illustrating the responsibility that is imposed on all of us at any given moment. Dear bereaved families, the story of the lives of your loved ones will continue to be our guiding light wherever we go," he continued.
Turning to the Palestinian conflict, Numa praised the combined results of intelligence, technology and soldiers to counter terror.
“In the past three years we have dealt with changes in the Palestinian arena, intelligence and operational tools have been developed and unique use has been made of the best technology and people since the outbreak of the wave of terror, and with these tools we have thwarted hundreds of terrorist attacks," he proudly stated.
"We have arrested terror activists and impaired the production of illegal weapons, and we are also working to confiscate terrorist funds and disrupt incitement to violence in Palestinian society."
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot furnished praised on the achievements of the outgoing commander.
“Roni, your long years of achievement as commander at the operational center and your long record of combat and of commanding of the IDF’s combat units brought me to appoint you as the Central Commander, my first appointment as Chief of Staff.
“During your term, you led the war on terror with determination and creativity. You have worked to preserve the balance between operational considerations and the moral rehabilitation of the delicate fabric of life. You managed to maintain a sense of security even during the difficult hours that the region experienced,” Eisenkot said.
“In a reality in which our enemies seek to blur the dividing line between combatants and the population,” concluded Eizenkot, “we have formulated an innovative concept of combat against terrorism and you led it with brave and creative thinking that led to the cessation of terror attacks and the restoration of security.
"I thank you for your partnership and responsibility. Accept my appreciation for years of excellence and accomplishment at the forefront of the IDF for the security of the State of Israel.”