Gantz hits northern border to talk Iran, shelters

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the Israel Defense Force’s Northern Command, speaking to senior officers about the threats facing Israel from Syria and Lebanon, his office says.

This is Gantz’s first visit to the Northern Command since entering his position last month. During the trip, he met with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, Northern Command chief Amir Baram and commander of the 210th Bashan Division Amit Fisher.

“[The trip] focused on the security challenges in the northern arena, chiefly the Iranian presence in Syria and the developments on the Lebanese front,” Gantz’s office says.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, center, surveys the northern border with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, right, in northern Israel on June 2, 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)

During his visit to the area, the defense minister also met with mayors of communities on the northern border including the head of the Mateh Asher region, Moshe Davidovitch, who serves as the head of the so-called “Forum of Front-Line Communities,” representing the towns closest to the Lebanese and Syrian borders and most likely to be attacked in a war.

“During the meeting, civil and security matters were raised regarding the northern communities, including the issue of shelters,” his office says, referring to shortages of proper bomb shelters in the area.

— Judah Ari Gross

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