Israel Military Head: We Face New Threats Daily

Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013 08:27 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Image: Israel Military Head: We Face New Threats Daily
Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz, Chief of General Staff of Israel Defense Forces. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
HERZLIYA, Israel — Israel’s military head has to deal with security threats on a daily basis that never get brought to public attention, he told an audience attending an international security conference Monday.

“Not a week goes by, not to say hardly a day, when I don’t have to deal with an issue that you didn’t even hear about, that could have resulted in a strategic threat,” Gen. Benny Gantz told the 13th annual Herzliya Conference, a major gathering of leading thinkers on Israel and the Middle East.

Syria is one type of threat to the Jewish nation, Gantz said while Lebanon is another, Sinai a third, and Gaza “has always been there and always will.”

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The general made particular note of Egypt’s instability, noting it has a direct impact on the fragile peace treaty withIsrael.

“Sinai is fertile ground for activities against us. . . . Fertile ground for terrorists,” Gantz said.

He said that a future danger of a military threat can gain momentum at any moment.

“We didn’t fall asleep on the job, we have prepared the infrastructures.” Gantz stressed, “Egypt has an interest to maintain security in the Sinai . . . not for us, for them . . . we will do whatever we can to maintain quiet in the area but we must understand that area in a state of flux.”

Gantz was talking at the first day of theconference which has become a major spotlight for articulating Israel’s security concerns

He said Israel must “learn from the past in order to learn about the future,” to ensure Israel’s security.

“We must reflect about these changes – the future is here,” Gantz told the annual conference, which focuses on Israeli and worldwide security and financial upheaval. “These changes . . . the future is here.”

Gantz said Arab and Muslim nations impacted by the Arab Spring must be closely watched, as the situation is “very liquid and dangerous.” He made it clear that everything concerning Israeli security is in flux.

“In the past two years we’ve learned that if there’s one constant — it’s that there are no constants,” Gantz said. “We have a multi-arena challenge with different features.

"The influence appears different inoperational form. The chances of war against us in the visible future are low but there is a high probability of deterioration."

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