Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, the international spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces, briefed Australian journalists via Zoom in a media conference organised by Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff. Emphasising that the IDF’s primary priority is security, he detailed the range of activities which it has undertaken in regard to the pandemic, stating that six centres have been established across the country, distributing three million hot meals, as well as medicines and other items, while communicating its messaging in Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic and English.

Significant challenges arose in responding to the issue in Arab and ultra-Orthodox villages, but the IDF has been overwhelmingly well received in those areas.

Lt-Colonel Jonathan Conricus from the IDF Spokespersons Unit.
Frank Muller-Rosentritt, Member of the German Parliament.

As far as the territories are concerned, the IDF’s efforts have been co-ordinated with the Palestinian Authority “since day one”, while the situation in Gaza has obviously been more complex, given Hamas’ control of the region. The IDF has co-operated there with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, and the transfer of food into Gaza from Israel continues.

“Terrorist activity continues,” Lt-Colonel Conricus stressed, “and the IDF is fully aware of Iranian efforts to entrench itself militarily in Syria. We will not tolerate that, nor will we tolerate Hezbollah deploying its fighters on the Syrian Golan Heights. Hezbollah has 130,000 rockets aimed at Israel and it is working on developing precision-guided missiles with a 50-metre accuracy radius.”

The press conference was  also briefed by Frank Muller-Rosentritt, a Member of the German Parliament who was involved in the German Parliament’s outlawing of Hezbollah in recent days.