by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 11 January 2023 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed during a visit to the Israeli military’s Northern Command headquarters yesterday that Israel will protect its northern borders from threats by Iran or any of its proxies in the region.
Netanyahu visited the northern Israel Defense Forces (IDF) headquarters along with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for a security assessment, the prime minister’s office announced in a statement yesterday.
The two were briefed on intelligence, operational activity and challenges facing Israel’s northern border, according to the prime minister’s office. The discussions centered on security threats to Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria as well as Israel’s ability to deal with those threats.
“The main enemy that we face is the terrorist regime in Iran and its proxies in Syria and Lebanon,” Netanyahu said in the statement published by his office.
“We are determined to fight Iran’s attempts to develop a nuclear arsenal,” the prime minister continued.
Israel has vehemently objected to a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, though on-again-off-again talks to resuscitate the agreement appear all but dead in the water. Nonetheless, the prime minister last week warned that a revived nuclear deal is still a threat and pledged to openly oppose further attempts to negotiate a new agreement.
Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials have also vowed in the past to do whatever it takes to stop Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon regardless of a nuclear deal, and the Israeli military is constantly improving its operational capabilities and conducting drills to strike the heart of Iran.
Another threat against Israel’s northern borders is Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terror group backed by Iran, as well as other Iran-backed proxies in the region.
“We are determined to fight any attempt by Iran to entrench militarily in Syria on our northern border,” Netanyahu said yesterday. “We are determined to fight any attempt by Hezbollah to show aggression against us in Lebanon.”
“Whoever needs a reminder about our red lines on this matter will receive it,” the prime minister warned.
Yesterday’s Northern Command tour also included discussions with Israel’s top military and defense brass, including the National Security Council director, the deputy chief of staff of the IDF, the prime minister’s military secretary and other top military and defense personnel.
Defense Minister Gallant echoed Netanyahu’s words of warning, adding that Israel’s security establishment will “prevent Iran from entrenching in Syria and will sever the channels by which Iranian weaponry is transferred to Lebanon and Hezbollah.”
“The quiet in the north is an important goal,” the defense minister said in a statement. “Therefore, in addition to maintaining quiet, we will take strong action against any attempt to attack Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.”
The Iranian threat is also on Washington’s radar, as US National Security Advisor is due to visit the Jewish state within the next month, the Jerusalem Post reported, to discuss the Iranian threat.
Posted on January 11, 2023
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 10, 2022)
Photo Credit: Barak Chen, IDF Spokesperson Unit/flickr.com
Photo License: Flickr
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