At a state ceremony commemorating the IDF soldiers who were killed during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, Prime Minister Yair Lapid says Israel must find a new way to end the constant war with Gaza.
“For a long time, the only two options on the table were occupying Gaza or endless rounds of fighting,” Lapid says. “Our job is to find better solutions. The IDF’s strength enables us freedom of action in Gaza, but also economic and diplomatic freedom of action.”
Lapid says that Israel must “make the civilian population in Gaza realize that they can live a different life. To pressure Hamas to stop firing at Israel. To that end, we have increased the number of permits for working in Israel that are issued to the residents of Gaza, and we continue to promote the ‘Economy for Security’ plan.”
The new prime minister also says that Israel has “a sacred obligation to bring home our fallen soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, for burial.”
He reiterates comments made last week about the need for unity among Israelis: “On the battlefield and in cemeteries, there is no right or left. It is not important who is secular or religious, Druze or Jewish.”
“The fallen soldiers of Operation Protective Edge did not die only for Israeli society to break apart from within,” he says. “If we can die for each other, we must know how to live for each other. If we can fight the enemy together, we should be able to fight together for a common good.”
Lapid concludes: “On this day, in these times, when domestic divisions and rifts threaten Israeli society, I look around this cemetery and remind us all — that the things that bind us together are greater than those that pull us apart. Our strength is in our unity.”