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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday 20 Elul, at the traditional toast ahead of Rosh Hashanah, spoke to Prime Minister’s Office employees:
“We must constantly defend our security. This was and remains our first and highest goal because everything else is made possible thanks to security. Any responsible leader, in the face of the increasing threats around us, would demand and make possible a significant increase in the defense budget given the reality and the growing security challenges around us and this is what we will do, a significant increase of many billions.
“I would like to thank all of you for your daily work, especially in recent months. We went through a difficult campaign and we did so successfully. I would like to thank you for your expedited and dedicated around-the-clock efforts over 51 days and nights. I would like to thank you for assisting me and the entire government during Operation Protective Edge.
“Today it is possible to compare the blow that we delivered to Hamas and the terrorist organizations in Gaza to the challenge facing the international community – dozens of countries are confronting a body that is more or less the size of Hamas.
“You certainly see that the Middle East is changing very rapidly. The area around us, both near and far, is changing at a dizzying pace. States are breaking up and out of the ground and the sand are rising extremist Shiite and Sunni organizations that are competing with each other and fighting each other and amongst themselves. But they all have one position – that we don’t need to be here.
“We know that we have been engaged in the struggle for our existence since the dawn of Zionism, both before and after the establishment of the state. We have withstood our enemies time and again, in campaign after campaign, and, at the same time, have continued to build our state. One of the great things that we are doing, between campaigns, while extending our hand to those of our neighbors who want peace, is to build up our state.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)