"If it comes to battle, Hezbollah will take a serious hit and Lebanon will feel it," Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Thursday at a memorial service for Israel's fallen soldiers whose place of burial is unknown. The ceremony was held with the president, the prime minister, the head of the Defense Ministry's Families and Commemoration Department, the head of the "Yad Labanim" organization, and the head of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization in attendance.
The defense minister said that these days the State of Israel is still taking action to bring all of its fallen soldiers back to Israeli soil. "We haven't stopped working and we haven't lost hope," he said. "We haven't stopped working to bring Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, may they rest in peace, back home. I feel a sense of personal responsibility toward them, having sent them into battle."
"Until that happens, Gaza won't be able to develop. We won't act like the Hamas; we won't prevent food and medical supplies. But we won't allow real long-term growth until our boys come home."
The minister said that Israel is also working to mobilize Arab countries, with which it is building relations, for this humanitarian effort. The defense minister also related to threats by Hezbollah. He said war "would be difficult for the Israeli home front, but it would be considerably more difficult for our enemies. This is true in particular of Hezbollah and Hamas, both of whom are violating international law by developing offensive capacity for operation within civilian populations. Facing that type of threat, the IDF is prepared to use whatever force necessary."