As part of his work visit to Israel, General Vincenzo Camporini, the Italian Chief of Defense, met today with the IDF (Zahal) Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. General Camporini was received by an honorary guard at the Kirya base in Tel Aviv, and then attended strategic and security briefings. Gen. Camporini is scheduled to visit the Old City in Jerusalem and the “Yad Va-Shem” Holocaust Memorial Museum.
During the reception ceremony at the Kirya Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi commented, “two years after Operation Cast Lead the situation in the Gaza Strip is different and calmer. Yet, sadly, from time to time, rockets and mortar shells are fired at the Israeli home front. We will not accept this. The IDF (Zahal) holds the terrorist organization Hamas solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip. We hope that the security situation in the south does not deteriorate, however the IDF (Zahal) is prepared for any scenario.” Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi further commented that, “relations between the IDF (Zahal) and the Italian military are very important and are based on mutual values and interests. Italy is a great friend of Israel and is one of the most involved forces in the region. It contributes great numbers of forces to UNIFIL and in Afghanistan, and in the war on terror.”
Italian Chief of Defense, General Vincenzo Camporini, commented that, “this is a great opportunity to further strengthen the excellent relations between the two militaries, manifested in mutual training and technology. Italy is present in the Middle East and is dealing with the important issue of stability in the region.” General Camporini added that he has recently returned from a visit to his forces in Lebanon and mentioned that he could clearly see the influence of the international forces on the region. He noted that his visit to Israel is one of several mutual visits emphasizing the good relations between the two militaries and commanders.
More information regarding the Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi’s visit to Italy in July of this year can be viewed here.