In farewell, outgoing defense chief calls on Israeli military to ‘remain human’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called on the military to “remain human” during an official farewell ceremony Sunday at military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Yaalon resigned from his ministerial position as well as the Knesset on Friday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was immersed in talks to replace him with hard-line Yisrael Beiteinu party head Avigdor Liberman.

He said in leaving that Likud had been “taken over by extremist and dangerous entities,” and that the party “is no longer the movement I joined.”

At the farewell ceremony, Yaalon thanked the members of the IDF General Staff.

“You are the ones who actualize the security that enables Israel to prosper. This forum can be proud of the successes that have brought relative security stability to Israel,” he said.

“That is due to the fact that sitting here is a balanced and responsible team, under the leadership of the chief of staff, that uses force intelligently.”

“An army needs to win, but it also needs to remain humane. Even after the battle or the operation or the war, we need to maintain our values and remain human beings. I am confident that you will continue to lead and win,” Yaalon said.

Also Sunday, Yaalon held a final meeting with Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and in a tweet thanked the members of his bureau and the management of the Defense Ministry.

“It was an experience to work with wonderful people, the assistants, the officers and the soldiers. Thanks to all of you,” he wrote.

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