In a thinly veiled warning to Israel’s regional enemies, President Shimon Peres said Tuesday that the Israeli Air Force has immense capabilities, some of them hidden from the public eye. The president made the comments during a visit to the Palmachim air force base.
“Not all of the IDF’s and the air force’s capabilities are open to view. Whoever derides us and seeks to harass us should take this into account,” Peres said during a tour of the base, which included a review of new weapons systems.
“The Israeli Air Force is the best air force in the world. We have unique systems. The air force is equipped with the most advanced technology and — most importantly — with dedicated and high-quality human capital.”
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel accompanied the president during the visit, which included a meeting with soldiers from elite air force units and an inspection of the drone squadron operated from the base.
“You are a branch with a heavy responsibility on your shoulders, and this produces tactical and strategic results daily,” Peres said.
Speaking of Israel’s “many challenges,” Gantz offered similar tough talk. “We are ready 365 days a year, at any range and facing any challenge. We know how to offer intelligence, operational and tactical solutions to any threat. The air force is our main system for deterrence, offensive and defensive action, and has fantastic technological abilities.”