Lt. Gen. Gantz on Itamar Attack, “I’ve never seen anything so inhuman”

Archive photo: IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a meetings of the General Staff Forum to present the principles of the IDF (Zahal)’s 2011 work plan and expressed shock and grief about the Itamar murders

Date: 15/03/2011, 1:23 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a meeting of the General Staff Forum on Monday (Mar. 14) for the first time since he became head of the IDF (Zahal), in order to present the principles of the IDF (Zahal) work plan for 2011 and to conclude the IDF (Zahal) work plan for 2010.

The 2011 work plan is the fourth year of the multi-year Tefen program (in which the IDF (Zahal) is rearranging, for example, financial priorities after the lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War) and is an axis year as the IDF (Zahal) pivots to the start of the next multi-year program, Halmish. The latter also touches on the IDF (Zahal)’s focus on planning ahead including in training, spending, etc.

IDF (Zahal) officers ranking colonel or higher were present at the meeting, held at the Hatzor air base. Lt. Gen. Gantz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke at the meeting.

Military Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi gave the gathering of senior IDF (Zahal) officers a survey of the strategic situation in the Middle East and the developments that have taken place in recent weeks in the region. The Southern Command’s Brig. Gen. Guy Tzur described the 2011 work plan, which was built based on the annual intelligence assessment, a strategic assessment, an evaluation of manpower, the budget at the IDF (Zahal)’s disposal, human resources and the operational responses required to face threats.

“In the name of the IDF (Zahal), I express my condolences and embrace the family”

Lt. Gen. Gantz opened by speaking about the terrorist attack on Friday night (Mar. 11) in Itamar, in which five members of the Fogel family were murdered.

“I entered the house, saw the scene, and found no connection between the murderers and human beings. I have seen many scenes in my life, but I’ve never seen anything as inhuman as this. In the name of the IDF (Zahal), I express my condolences and embrace the family.”

On the changes occurring in the Middle East, Lt. Gen. Gantz said, “The instability in the area is at a historic level. We need to adjust our allocation of power in the face of threats. We must develop our knowledge and through that cope with any challenges waiting for us, on all fronts.”

“Security forces will succeed in getting their hands on the perpetrators of the massacre”

Defense Minister Barak stated that he was “certain that security forces will succeed in getting their hands on the perpetrators of the massacre” in Itamar.

Defense Minister Barak also discussed the changes occurring in the region and the implications of those changes for the IDF (Zahal).

He wished Lt. Gen. Gantz well in his new position and told the assembled officers that the people of Israel trust and have faith in them.