On Tuesday, Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister paid a visit to the general Eilat and its surrounding areas. He was accompanied by Orit Farkash-Cohen, who is a member of the Knesset and Tourism Minister both. General Eyal Zamir, the Deputy Chief of Staff Major, also tagged along as well as Herzli Halevi, the General of the Southern Command.
A statement was released which contained further details of the visit. Gantz first went for a tour of the 80th Division. Here he received an overview of the defense and operational challenges faced at the Jordanian border. He met with Brigadier General Gur Shreibman, the division commander, to talk about the imminent threats and appropriate responses at the Sinai border.
Afterward, the Defense Minister paid a visit to the naval base, which is located in close proximity of the city of Eilat. Minister Farkash HaCohen and Eyal Zamir, the Deputy Chief of Staff General accompanied him. Gantz also met with Lt. Col. Tamir Shemesh, the commander of the naval base, who discussed the main operating activities of the base and the current security concept being followed.
Farkash-Cohen and the Defense Minister together also paid a visit to the Mayor of Eilat, Meir Yitzchak-Halevi. They held their meeting at the city hall of Eilat and talked in detail about the city’s response to the novel coronavirus.
When the visit ended, Gantz made a short speech. He stated that he had toured the operational areas and taken a look at the security activity in the air, on land, and at sea in the vicinity of Eilat. He went on to say that the security system of IDF operates by the rules and ensures the safety of the road in the city and throughout the region.
The Defense Minister announced that the relevant authorities will go ahead and evacuate a part of the naval base, located in Eilat. This evacuation will be in accordance with his plan to make sure that the city continues to develop. This initiative was taken by joining forces with the Mayor of Eilat and the Israel Lands Administration.
Gantz expressed hope of getting this project off the ground because he thinks that this is important for progress. He went on to add that the government will make some key decisions soon, which will have a positive impact on morbidity. According to him, the city will also be granted some economic breathing room.
While talking about the implementation of night curfew, the Minister reassured that trade will go on under precise guidelines and in a controlled manner. In the end, he said that this project will bring benefits to the citizens and the State of Israel, as well. Gantz encouraged cooperation and expressed hope for a better future. He stressed on following coronavirus guidelines to ensure that a third closure is not necessary.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Minister was quite pleased that he had Gantz’s support in the coronavirus cabinet. He stated that it is important for Eilat to have sanity and clean air to boost tourism.
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