Jerusalem, Israel — September 16, 2023 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today held Rosh Hashanah toasts with Israeli security services: Mossad, the ISA and the IDF General Staff Forum.
Netanyahu emphasized before each security body the importance of unity among the people as he is committed to working toward reaching as broad a consensus as possible. The Prime Minister said that disagreements must be left outside the security services and that devotion to the goal of safeguarding the security of the state and strengthening it, had to be maintained.
Netanyahu first attended a ceremony at Mossad headquarters to award the Prime Minister’s Prize for operations that were carried out during 2022. The Prime Minister and Mossad Director David Barnea awarded the prize to four outstanding operations that made substantial strategic contributions to Israel, its citizens and Jews worldwide. The operations were at the forefront of intelligence, operational and technological efforts by the Mossad and express the values of dedication, excellence and pioneering thinking in dealing with the challenges facing the State of Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu commended the outstanding agents and wished a good year to the personnel of the Mossad and their families. Present at the ceremony were senior officials of the security and intelligence services who participated in the operations and were essential to their success, including the IDF, the ISA, the Israel Police and the security industries.
“I believe in you,” said Netanyahu. “I rely on you. I rely on our ability to utilize all of the resources at our disposal, in the IDF and the other security services. First and foremost is our determination as a people not to let our wonderful story be put to an end after 3,500 years by the extremist regime of ayatollahs that will threaten the entire world with nuclear weapons and inter-continental missiles.
I would like to wish you and your families a good and sweet year of peace and unity; however, above all, continue your efforts, and above this, continue your successes. May you have a good year.”
Netanyahu then went to the ISA headquarters and met with Israel Security Agency Director Ronen Bar and the ISA senior administrative forum. The Prime Minister was briefed on innovative and pioneering projects and operations in the intelligence and operations spheres, and commended two new female members of the ISA forum (equivalent to the IDF rank of major-general), who took up their posts this week.
“The ISA has great responsibility and also great success,” said Netanyahu. “The responsibility is, first of all, to protect the lives of Israeli citizens. The success is – how many? Almost 200 terrorists that have been killed and over 2,000 have been arrested, hundreds of actions have been thwarted this year. I know how you work around the clock in order to thwart incidents and afterwards to find both the murderers and those who dispatch them.”
Lastly, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with the members of the IDF General Staff Forum to toast Rosh Hashanah and commemorate 50 years since the Yom Kippur War, together with Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. The members of the Forum briefed the Prime Minister on the main points of the multi-year plan for the coming years.
“Defense Minister, IDF Chief of Staff and members of the General Staff Forum, I would like to wish you and all of us a good year, a year in which we reduce the divisiveness among the people and increase its unity,” said Netanyahu. “I think that this can be done, when we remember that we have one people, one state, one army, with a common past and a common future. We need to ensure this future. We have major challenges and major opportunities. The major opportunities are in expanding the circle of peace. The major challenge is from Iran and its proxies who want to not only thwart this peace but also work to destroy the State of Israel.
I would like to commend the IDF, from its most senior commanders to the last soldier, for the vigorous and relentless action that they carry out in order to defend us and our free, democratic state. I also wish that we succeed in this mission. I wish us continued success and efforts, and a good year. Thank you very much.”
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