Israeli Air Force strong enough to defeat any threat: Netanyahu

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File Photo/IANS)

Jerusalem, Dec 28 (IANS) Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country has the strongest air force against threats, with the ability to reach targets at all distances.

“Israeli Air Force is at the prime of its capabilities, with the very best technological tools, aircraft, pilots, possessing defensive and offensive capabilities, with immense fire capabilities, which can reach near and far targets,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday at a graduation ceremony for air force pilots at the Hatzerim Air Base, Xinhua reported.

Netanyahu also warned that “we will not let the Iranian Armed Forces establish themselves in Syria in order to harm the State of Israel and we will work in order to prevent the manufacturing of deadly weapons to be used against us.”

Netanyahu gave similar warning that Israel won’t allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria for several times.

As for the Gaza Strip, he said “we want the local population to live peacefully, but the peace in Gaza depends first and foremost on Gaza.”

Thirty-six pilots, including one woman, received their symbolic wings after graduating from the three-year long Israeli Air Force Flight Academy on Wednesday.

Beginning next week, these graduates, who are now combat air crew, will be assigned to various air force squadrons and will begin their operational training, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The F-35 fighter, the newest and most advanced U.S. fighter jet, flew an aerial show at the graduation ceremony. Israeli Air Force announced in early December that its new squadron of F-35 fighter jets is fully operational.

Israeli Air Force has several technological advancements like unmanned aircraft, the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and the Arrow system, said Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the graduation ceremony.

In the coming years, the Israeli Air Force will remain the decisive force of the IDF, said Lieberman. “In those years there will be challenges that we have never dealt with before.”

Upon the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, Israel faces many threats from the north and the south, said Gadi Eizenkot, Chief of the General Staff of IDF.

Eizenkot said that the IDF has been operating on all frontiers, with creativity and determination, in order to ensure the security of Israel.