Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday reiterated that Israel is ready for any challenge, but cautioned it cannot rely on anyone but itself.
Speaking at a memorial service for the 1973 Yom Kippur War‘s victims, Barak stated: “The region around us is alight.” The IDF and security forces, however, “are ready for any challenge, be it near or far.”
He continued: “It is our duty to maintain absolute security at all times, not foster false hopes, ambitions and dreams. When faced with the ultimate test, we can rely on no one but ourselves.”
Directing his comments at the bereaved families present at the ceremony, Barak added: “If necessary, we will fight and win every battle, even at painful costs.”
The Yom Kippur War, he said, was a turning point in Israeli history.
The annual memorial ceremony for the 2,691 fallen soldiers of the Yom Kippur War was held in Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl and attended by bereaved families, former Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger.
Last week, newly declassified documents released by the IDF archives revealed serious shortcomings leading up to the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria on Israel at the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
The shortcomings include a failure to pass on a warning of imminent war from the Mossad handler of Ashraf Marwan – the son-in-law of then- Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser – who allegedly spied on behalf of Israel.