update deskIsrael News

2023 Israel Defense Prize honors four outstanding projects

The initiatives have been instrumental in maintaining Israel’s superiority on the battlefield.

President Isaac Herzog, with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to his right and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi to his left, hands an award to one of the winners. Credit: Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office.
President Isaac Herzog, with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to his right and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi to his left, hands an award to one of the winners. Credit: Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office.

President Isaac Herzog and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant awarded the 2023 Israel Defense Prize to four projects at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The projects have contributed significantly to Israel’s security and in maintaining Israel’s technological and operational superiority on the battlefield, according to a government statement.

The projects were developed by the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the Mossad and Israeli defense industries.

They are a cutting-edge cyber defense system that ensures the IDF’s security and operational freedom in the digital domain; an intelligence system developed by the Shin Bet and IDF Intelligence Corps; a joint technological initiative led by the Mossad and the IDF’s Unit 8200 signal intelligence group; and the groundbreaking advancement of a classified operational capability.

Herzog, Gallant, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Defense Ministry Director General Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Zamir awarded the prizes.

The winners protect their identities. Credit: Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office.

“The projects celebrated today are truly awe-inspiring, revolutionary, and serve as a wellspring of inspiration,” Herzog said. “They transform seemingly impossible fantasies into tangible realities. The initiatives in which you participate often resemble works of science fiction, yet they exist within the realm of actuality. This is not the stuff of dreams; it is the embodiment of our real-life accomplishments.”

Gallant said, “Today’s ceremony and the four exceptional projects showcase the strength of our defense establishment’s incredible human resources. Through endeavors such as these, we have already achieved the remarkable feat of saving lives and thwarting acts of terror. These capabilities send a clear message to our adversaries that we are always prepared for any threat.”

Zamir said that given the substantial resources required to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge, “we have made the decision to increase the Ministry of Defense’s research and development budget this year, setting a new record for direct investments, the highest ever recorded in research and development.

“This approach ensures not only the preservation of Israeli leadership in the region but its fortification as well.”

Also attending the ceremony were Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar and Mossad Director David Barnea.

The award committee consisted of its chairman, Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Adam, Maj. Gen. (res.) Roni Numa, Professor Ofer Firstenberg from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and committee secretary Asher Wagner.

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