[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: "There is a war going on in the south of the
country and people in the center do not always feel it or understand it."
Prime Minister Olmert resides in the center of the country and judging by
his refusal to treat the situation as a war and take over the Philadelphi
Corridor, etc. he most definitely does not understand that there is a war
PM Olmert Visits IDF Gaza Division
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Tuesday), 29.1.08, visited the IDF Gaza
Division and met with officers and soldiers. He was accompanied by Defense
Minister Ehud Barak, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, IDF
Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi and GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen.
Prime Minister Olmert was briefed by GOC Gaza Division Brig.-Gen. Moshe
Tamir, Brig.-Gen. Yoav Satrik and battalion commanders serving in the area.
They discussed recent events in the south, as well as military operations
and activities in the Gaza district and along Israel's southwestern border.
Following the briefing, Prime Minister Olmert met with soldiers from the
Golani Brigade's 12th Battalion. He told the soldiers: "I am pleased that I
have this opportunity to personally thank you, both on my behalf and that of
the Government, for the splendid work that you are doing here. There is a
war going on in the south of the country and people in the center do not
always feel it or understand it. When there is a laconic report that the
IDF has struck at terrorists, not many can estimate the scope of the IDF
activity and the security forces behind it. You have foiled countless
terrorist actions that could have caused many civilian casualties. In the
past three months, we have killed approximately 130 terrorists. To our
great joy, casualties on our side have been very low. You are brave and
determined fighters with an uncommon motivation that allows you to operate
day and night without respite. You asked me about budgets and you asked for
a supplement for purchasing advanced equipment. I can tell you that we
passed a defense budget for the next ten years with a supplement of NIS 100
billion. While this plan covers many units and must answer the needs of
various security force units, I am certain that by my next visit here, you
will be able to tell me that there has been an improvement on this issue as