Incoming Gaza Division Commander: "The reality demands vigilance"

Brig. Gen. Mickey Edelstein was recently welcomed as the Division’s new commander, succeeding Brig. Gen. Yossi Bachar

Date: 11/06/2012, 4:28 PM     Author: Yair Barzilai

Brig. Gen. Mickey Edelstein was appointed as the new Commander of the Gaza Division in a ceremony held at the Raim army base on Sunday (November 4), replacing Brig. Gen. Yossi Bachar.

Brig. Gen. Bachar served as Commander of the Gaza Division for the past two years, after having held a number of command positions, including Chief of Infantry and Paratroopers. He now intends to pursue a career outside of the IDF (Zahal). Brig. Gen. Edelstein was appointed as his successor after having also served as Chief of Infantry and Paratroopers.

In an emotional speech, the outgoing commander named every single soldier and civilian killed or injured during his term commanding the Gaza Division.

The incoming commander warned of the threats facing the Gaza border. “We face an enemy who desires to challenge our freedom as a people and as a country,” he explained. “Events in recent weeks suggest that at any given time, the terrorists in Gaza seek new ways to harm us.”

“The reality demands vigilance and preparedness for any occasion, anytime and anywhere. Our divisions will continue to be responsible for building the intelligence infrastructure, operational response, and an ongoing security campaign,” concluded Brig. Gen. Edelstein.

Commander of the Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo addressed both commanders at the ceremony. “Leading the Gaza Division and its fighters is a very challenging and unique mission,” he said. “It places a vast assortment of operational realms in front of the commander.”

Maj. Gen. Russo praised the outgoing commander, saying, “Your operational experience, leadership, precision, attention to detail, foresight, and collaborations have led the Division and the entire Southern Command to many achievements and successes during the many tests you have faced during your service.”

Maj. Gen. Russo went on to elaborate on the importance of the Southern Command in light of recent developments and escalations in attacks from the Gaza Strip. “The Southern Command, [particularly] the Gaza Division and its commanders and soldiers, must always be ready to carry out our mission to protect the southern border of the State of Israel, providing its residents with peace and allowing them to live [their] lives as normally as possible,” he said. “At this very hour, and throughout the year, our fighters are poised on the fence to stand against our enemies, against all those who want to violate the security of the state.”