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Israel’s Defense Minister Tells Soldiers: ‘We Will Not Allow Iranians, Hezbollah to Harm Us’

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Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant attends a news conference with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, Israel, March 9, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

i24 NewsIsrael’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday told Israeli soldiers of the Etzion Brigade that “we will not allow Iranians and Hezbollah to harm us” during a visit to Gush Etzion in the West Bank.

“We didn’t allow it in the past, we don’t allow it now, and we won’t allow it in the future,” he said.

Gallant made the remarkes following a tour of the Etzion Brigade, together with army commanders. He was presented with the main points of the initial investigation into the ramming attack that left three Israeli soldiers wounded the night prior, and heard an operation overview of the army’s efforts to quell tensions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Two of the three wounded soldiers of the car-ramming attack remained in the hospital and concerns have been raised that recent violence in the northern West Bank will spread south to the Gush Etzion area.

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“We’re worried that the violence that we see further north in the West Bank will make its way to this area,” Gush Etzion resident Elad told i24NEWS.”

While the area of Gush Etzion has seen its share of violent attacks in the past, it has been relatively calm in recent months. That reality may be changing now, but residents there try to focus on the good things that their home has to offer. “We feel very safe here because we belong. When you belong somewhere, you don’t feel afraid. It’s totally normal, we live here together, Arabs and Jewish people,” Navit, another resident, told i24NEWS.

Still, the military presence in the community serves as a reminder of the reality – one in which every road journey could be dangerous. “The attacks are something separate from driving on the road. The attacks are specific. The feeling from driving on the road is always the same feeling. You feel not completely safe, but you drive anyway,” explained Elad.

Speaking to soldiers of the Shaked Battalion, Gallant said he was happy to see the “high motivation of all the soldiers.”

“The task you carry out in defense of the State of Israel is clear – you have to be sharp as a knife against terrorism and harm those who want to harm you,” he continued. “We are under tension in all sectors. The Iranians are sending their arms to the West Bank and Gaza, and are trying to establish themselves in Syria and at the Lebanese border. We will push them out of Syria to where they should be, and that is in Iran.”

“Every battalion and every brigade operating throughout the country has an important role. You are the insurance certificate that allows all of our families to sit together [for dinner]. I wish you and your families a happy holiday and much success, take care of yourselves,” he said.

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