Transcript of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting about the next IDF Chief-of-Staff

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem February 6, 2011. Israel named a new head, Benny Ganz, for its armed forces on Saturday following a shakeup in the top ranks that a deputy to Netanyahu said had undermined national security at a time of regional turmoil. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Feb 6 (KATAKAMI) — Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:

“The stability of the IDF is always important, but it is much more important now given the deep shocks in our region.  The IDF needs stability; therefore, over the weekend, I determined, along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to decide regarding the appointment of the next IDF Chief-of-Staff.

I would like to express appreciation for Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, a seasoned fighter with experience, who contributed greatly to the security of the state.

I know that he has undergone not simple experiences in recent months and I also understand the depth of his disappointment.  This is natural; this is human.  But in the circumstances that have been created, my duty as Prime Minister is to make clear decisions in order to lift the cloud of uncertainty from the IDF senior command.

Therefore, today, Defense Minister Barak will recommend, to the cabinet, our joint intention to appoint Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz as the 20th IDF Chief-of-Staff.

Maj.-Gen. Gantz has done the entire track which qualifies him to be the next commander of the IDF, including his recent tenure as Deputy Chief-of-Staff.  He is an experienced commander and an excellent officer.  He has all the qualities and all the necessary experience to be an excellent IDF Chief-of-Staff.

I would like to take this opportunity to also express my deep appreciation for Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh and Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizencot, who were also considered for the post.

I must note that both of them expressed their full willingness to serve under designated IDF Chief-of-Staff Benny Gantz.  I believe that this shows that the Chief-of-Staff and the General Staff will cooperate and work together as a united team.  This is important both for the IDF and the State of Israel.

On Friday, 4.2.11, an explosion occurred in an Egyptian gas pipeline leading to a halt in the supply of natural gas to the State of Israel.  Israel is prepared for such situations and has the possibility of immediately switching to alternative energy sources.  It is important to note that we are prepared for any scenario and I ask that National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau to detail these preparations and the possibilities at our disposal.  In any case, due to these advance preparations, no problems are expected in the supply of gas to the State of Israel.

I believe that the shocks in our region underscore and reiterate that Israel is an island of stability in turbulent area and we will continue to do everything to ensure the security and vital interests of the State of Israel, in the face of the major challenges yet before us as well.”  (*)

Source ; PM’s office

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