Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief-of-Staff Maj. Gen. Amir Baram held a traditional Passover toast on Monday with soldiers at the Adam Base, near Modi’in.
The prime minister met with IDF Canine Unit commander Col. A. and troops who participated in an operation in Nablus earlier in the day. The mission resulted in the arrest of two Palestinians suspected of aiding the terrorist who wounded two soldiers in a drive-by shooting in the village of Huwara on March 25.
“We are on the eve of the Passover holiday when we are also fighting for our security and our freedom. Some of you were in action this morning … you have done excellent work. I would like to commend you and tell you that I am proud of you, of each and every one of you. You truly deserve all the praise of the people of Israel,” said Netanyahu on Monday.
“Without the IDF and without the security forces, there is no State of Israel. In order for there to be a State of Israel, we need to safeguard our unity. We need to safeguard our ability to defend ourselves against those who seek our deaths. The most important thing, I will put it like this, is to leave politics at the base gate and unite together in order to defend Israel. For that, you are here,” he added.
“I thank you with all my heart for the amazing work that you are doing for this sacred goal. Thank you very much, may you have a happy and kosher—and, I hope, also quiet—Passover,” said the premier.
Gallant warned that Israel’s enemies remain intent on harming the country.
“The enemy’s bullets don’t discriminate between those who come from the city or the countryside, from the mountains or the valleys. We’re all the same on the battlefield, so we need to show a unified front against the enemy,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu reversed course and announced that he would keep Gallant in his post for the time being. A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office cited ongoing security tensions as the reason.
Netanyahu announced Gallant’s dismissal on March 26 but did not send him the required letter giving 48 hours’ notice prior to his termination taking effect.
The previous night, Gallant drew Netanyahu’s ire by calling in an address to the nation for a halt to the government’s judicial reform program.
After Netanyahu paused the reforms to “provide a real opportunity for real dialogue,” various coalition lawmakers began urging the premier to reverse the sacking.
A source close to Netanyahu said on Monday that “due to the current security situation, the prime minister will address the matter of the defense minister at a later time.”
Later on Monday, Netanyahu, Gallant, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar held a separate pre-Passover toast with soldiers at the Tel Nof Air Base, near Rehovot.