Chief of Staff: Navy achieves "what was thought impossible"

Lt. Gen. Gantz praised the Navy’s achievements and technological advances at a memorial ceremony for its fallen soldiers

Date: 02/09/2012, 11:54 AM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

A memorial ceremony for the Israeli Navy’s fallen soldiers was held on Thursday (August 30) at the Navy’s memorial in Ashdod. Attendees included Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter, Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Commander in Chief of the Navy Vice Adm. Ram Rutberg, families of fallen soldiers, and soldiers and officers of the Israeli Navy.

“Today, we look at the technological wonders of the Navy: the submarines, missile boats, commando equipment, and patrol boats. In contrast to all of these, it is difficult to even imagine the rickety boat – with ground cannons tied to the deck with ropes – that led the Navy in daring battles with the establishment of the state,” said the Chief of Staff. “But one thing remains unchanged: Just as soldiers of the young Navy embarked on difficult missions with little equipment but achieved great victories during the early history of the emerging state, so today the members of the Navy continue to push the limits of their abilities, and every time accomplish what was thought to be impossible.”

“The Navy faced challenges of the highest order and become a strategic force, important and significant in the establishment of the state,” said the Commander in Chief of the Navy. “Patrol soldiers and soldiers of missile boats, submarines, and naval commandos, who were educated by the precious legacy whose story lies here at the monument in Gan Elisheva [the site of the Navy’s memorial], operate quietly and modestly.”

The Israeli Navy has defended Israel’s coasts for the past 64 years, participating in all of Israel’s wars. In recent years, it has intercepted the Karine A and MV Francop ships, which were carrying weapons from Iran to Gaza and to the Hezbollah terrorist organization, respectively.

Over the course of its history of defending Israel’s borders and citizens, the Navy has lost 429 soldiers.