President Rivlin at reception ceremony for the Israel Navy’s new missile boat, INS Magen

December 3, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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President of Israel Reuven Rivlin has addressed the guests and crew at the reception ceremony for the Israel Navy’s new missile boat, INS Magen, at the Haifa Naval Base.

Photo: Koby Gideon (GPO)

INS Magen is one of four new Sa’ar-6 Type missile boats that will guard the gas rigs and Israel’s territorial waters.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and Commander of the Israel Navy Maj.-Gen. Eliyahu Sharvit also participated in the ceremony.

Last week, the ship was handed over at the dockyards in Germany to the Israel Navy in a festive ceremony. The president sent a recorded message to the crew of the ship as they sailed for Israel, saying “Crew of INS Magen, this is Ruvi from Jerusalem. We salute you! Sail in peace, cross the stormy seas and come home to safe harbour. We are all waiting for you.”

Photo: Koby Gideon (GPO)

During the ceremony, the president reviewed the ship’s company and spoke. “The Israel Navy has proved it can initiate, plan, lead and implement a serious force build-up program for the long term, that will answer the State of Israel’s strategic needs – from maintaining our naval superiority in the area to protecting the gas rigs and securing the trade and import routes to Israel. This project, over many years, which is not yet complete, required close coordination with the German defence industries. This will work together with the military systems onboard the missile boats from our own excellent, blue-and-white, military industries.” The president thanked President Steinmeier and Chancellor Merkel of Germany for their commitment to the strategic relations between the two countries.

The president also noted that the new Sa’ar-6 Type missile boat force will include female crew members, graduates of the naval officers’ course, who will be one-quarter of the ships’ companies. He said, “The Israel Navy, and the IDF, proves again its connection to Israeli society. That is the relevance of the IDF as the people’s army – the army of the people, of us all. Navy servicepeople are used to spending long periods at sea, far from home, but I have no doubt that this will be a real challenge to you, and of course to your dear families who are also part of this national mission. You are the real focus of this celebration. You are the foundations on which this important project is built, and so I would like to thank you on behalf of all Israelis. At this time, when Israeli society is in crisis, you are an anchor of stability, patriotism of uncompromising commitment to Israel’s national security. You are our pride – true Israeli pride.”

The president then cut the ribbon and toured the ship, escorted by the Chief of Staff and Commander of the Navy.

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