Israeli leaders draw conclusions from Yom Kippur War, note relevance today

“The soldiers manning the frontlines are those who will determine the fate of our operations,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said.

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

48 years after the Yom Kippur War that claimed the lives of 2,656 Israelis and led to fundamental changes within Israeli society, Israeli leaders and politicians addressed the nation and spoke of unity and the importance of introspection when faced when new challenges.

“Even today, 48 years later, we have no more important foundations than these: Our unity and mutual guarantee,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said during the memorial ceremony for Yom Kippur’s fallen at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, the site of Israel’s national cemetery.

“We learned this in the Yom Kippur War and we realize it again every day.”

The Israeli premier mentioned in his speech the capture of the two remaining Palestinian fugitives who broke out from the Gilboa Prison earlier this month and were captured by Israeli security forces on Saturday night.

“Even what happened this morning, when the security forces completed the recapture of the six terrorists who escaped from Gilboa Prison, was a good – though small – example of what I just spoke about,” Bennett argued.

“The escape itself was a severe mishap – operational, systemic and vis-à-vis intelligence. But whenever there is a mishap, we first take action, together, in the first stage – against the enemy, to restore deterrence, and then to correct what needs to be corrected on our part, and there is what to correct.”

President Isaac Herzog reiterated Bennett’s comments and thanked the security forces who managed to apprehend the remaining fugitives.

“The IDF, the Israel Police and the intelligence establishment never rest and are always protecting Israel’s citizens. I would like to thank the troops for their courage, determination and creativity in capturing the terrorists,” Herzog concluded.

Defense Minister Benney Gantz noted the importance of understanding the lessons learned during the Yom Kippur War and adapting them to our reality today.

“The soldiers manning the frontlines are those who will determine the fate of our operations,” Gantz said.

The Yom Kippur War proved to be one of Israel’s most traumatic conflicts with nearly 3,000 casualties, over 7,000 wounded, and extensive economic damage to the young Jewish state. The war’s failures are partly attributed to the war’s surprising nature, taking Israel’s intelligence community off guard and launching attacks on multiple fronts – challenges that Israel faces to this day.