JERUSALEM, ISRAEL– With Israeli forces on high alert on both the northern and southern borders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of new army and police recruits Thursday that the nation will trust them to defend the country.
When asked by a just-enlisted soldier at Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv how he handled the hardships of military life decades ago, Netanyahu answered, apparently referring to the current onslaught against Israel in Gaza, "Always tell yourselves: 'I won't be broken; we won't be broken – we will break them.'"
His admonition came just hours after an Israeli soldier was wounded by sniper fire from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) retaliated with strikes against Hamas positions in Gaza, killing three terrorists. The wounded soldier's mother called his recovery "a miracle," and he is listed in stable condition.
The Times of Israel reports nine rockets were fired at Israel overnight and the Iron Dome shot down one of them. No damage or injuries were sustained.
Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with Gaza Division troops on July 17, Photo, GPO, Kobi Gideon
Meanwhile, near the Syrian border in the north, Israel conducted airstrikes against Syrian positions after two BM-21 Grad rockets launched by ISIS, but intended for Syrian targets, landed in the Sea of Galilee. Rocket sirens sounded in northern Israel for the second straight day on Wednesday.
According to an IDF report, "The Israel Air Force struck the rocket launcher from which the two rockets were fired and by artillery toward the area from which the rockets were fired."
For the new soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade and the Border Police recruits meeting with the prime minister, though, the Gaza situation was uppermost in their minds. One soldier asked Netanyahu about the Gaza campaign.
Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks with new recruit at the induction center in Tel Hashomer, Photo, GPO, Haim Zach
He replied, "It forever involves exchanging blows. In the end, it's a test of will."
Netanyahu added, "You're going to go through hard but important training that will give you the tools both to defend yourselves and to defend the country. That's my wish for you, that you succeed in defending the country, and that you take care of yourselves."