Netanyahu: Israeli Air Force prepared for challenges in southern Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the graduates of the Israeli Air Force’s 175th pilot course and commented on the tensions along the country’s border with Gaza on Wednesday. “We will not allow and not tolerate any escalation from Hamas or any other terrorist entity against the State of Israel,” he stated.
The graduates, today Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The graduation ceremony for the 175th pilot course was held at Israel’s Hatzerim Air Base on Wednesday. Thirty-five male pilots and one female pilot graduated from the prestigious course. Senior Israeli politicians, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and military officials spoke at the ceremony. Netanyahu said during his speech that the IAF’s capabilities are at the highest level in its history.

In addition, Netanyahu praised the IAF’s strength. “We continue to face the big challenges in the north and in the south and also in the east,” he said. “We are an island within this rough storm and maintain our security with a clear policy: we will not allow Iranian military forces to establish themselves in Syria to hurt us and we will act to prevent the creation of guided and deadly weapons that are aimed toward us.”

Netanyahu also commented on the escalated tensions along Israel’s southern border with Gaza. “The decision whether there will be calmness in Gaza depends first of all on Gaza,” he said. “We will not allow and not tolerate any escalation from Hamas or any other terrorist entity against the State of Israel. We will use all measures to defend our sovereignty and the safety of the Israeli citizens.”

IAF Commander Amikam Norkin said during his speech that the air force’s strength has become an important part of the Israeli deterrence strategy over the years. He then commended the graduates, saying that they are “a group of professionals filled with motivation.”



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