Israel’s new PM hits the ground running, warns enemies “don’t test us”

The first item on Yair Lapid’s agenda was an extensive security-intelligence briefing with Shin Bet director

Israel’s new PM hits the ground running, warns enemies “don’t test us”

PM Lapid and Shin Bet Director Bar. Photo: Haim Zach, GPO

“I stand before you at this moment and say to everyone seeking our demise, from Gaza to Tehran, from the shores of Lebanon to Syria: don’t test us. Israel knows how to use its strength against every threat, against every enemy.” This poignant message was delivered by Israel’s new Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, who on Saturday night delivered his first address to the nation since assuming the position two days earlier.   

“We believe we must always preserve our military might. Without it, there’s no security. We will defend ourselves, by ourselves. We will make sure we always have the Israel Defense Forces, an army with undeniable strength, that our enemies fear,” he said.

“We believe that so long as Israel’s security needs are met, Israel is a country that seeks peace. Israel stretches out its hand to all the peoples of the Middle East, including the Palestinians, and says: the time has come for you to recognize that we’ll never move from here, let’s learn to live together. 

“We believe there is a great blessing in the Abraham Accords, a great blessing in the security and economic momentum created at the Negev Summit with the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and Morocco and that there will be a great blessing in the agreements yet to come. 

“The people of Israel won't dwell alone. It is our job to continue to strengthen our position in the world, our relations with our greatest friend and ally, the United States, and to harness the international community in the struggle against antisemitism and the delegitimization of Israel.”

On Friday, Lapid’s first working meeting was held with Israeli Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet) Director Ronen Bar in Tel Aviv. The meeting including an extensive security-intelligence briefing.

This morning (Sunday), Lapid will hold his first cabinet meeting as Prime Minister, in his Jerusalem office.

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