Gantz recognizes IDF occupation of Lebanon as military campaign
Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and members of the committee headed by Lt.-Gen (ret.) Shaul Mofaz, Nov. 11, 2020.
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
The campaign will be given the name "the campaign in Lebanon's security strip."
Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved on Wednesday the recognition of the 18 years of IDF occupation in southern Lebanon as a military campaign, according to the Defense Ministry. Last week, a special committee for examining the issue released its conclusions and recommended that the near 20 years of IDF operational activity in southern Lebanon be recognized as an ongoing military campaign. The committee was appointed several months ago by Kochavi and Gantz. It was headed by Lt.-Gen (ret.) Shaul Mofaz and included senior IDF officials from various branches and fields of expertise. While IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi accepted the committee's recommendations shortly after their release, the final approval was subject to Gantz's approval, who met Kochavi and members of the committee today and gave his final okay after hearing the explanations justifying the decision. Gantz's final approval from Wednesday is the final step in accepting the committee's recommendations before implementing them. "I served in Lebanon for 22 years and I personally know the complex and unique nature of serving in that area. The topic was brought to my attention when assuming office and I made sure to promote it together with the IDF Chief of Staff," Gantz said. "We lost many friends and left behind countless memories and heroic stories. There is no act more justifiable than recognizing them all for an entire generation that fought in Lebanon," Gantz told Mofaz during Wednesday's meeting. Mofaz was chief of staff at the time and was the person who headed the IDF's withdrawal. Kochavi noted that this is an important step that expresses a deep appreciation for the service of many who protected the northern border of Israel and its citizens. As part of the decision, the IDF will grant soldiers who took an active role in fighting or providing support in southern Lebanon between September 30, 1982, to May 24, 2000, with a certificate of evaluation. The campaign will be given the name "the campaign in Lebanon's security strip."