PM addresses Hezbollah threats, Iran, “Islamic challenge” and AMIA terrorist attacks; Netanyahu: without the Iranian oxygen pipeline, Hezbollah could not exist for very long.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed current threats to Israel’s security, mainly Hezbollah and Iran, during a ceremony commemorating Israel’s fallen from the 2006 Lebanon War at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl ahead of the weekend. Amidst increased threats from Hezbollah, as well the success of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in thwarting its efforts in Syria and the region, the prime minister warned “The surprise will come in its time. We do not rejoice in war, but if it is forced on us, we will strike the enemy decisively.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about the “Islamist challenge”, and how Israel continues to “thwart Iran’s efforts to channel funds and weapons to Hezbollah,” in reference to Israel’s strikes and covert operations in Lebanon and Syria. He added, “without the Iranian oxygen pipeline, Hezbollah could not exist for very long. As soon as the Iranian scaffolding is removed, it will collapse. But the struggle against Iranian aggression is not just ours, and it needs to be the struggle of the entire world.”
Speaking on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, he praised President Mauricio Macri and Argentina for “designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and for taking measures to freeze its assets.” Over the weekend, it announced it also designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, following the United States, the UK, EU, Britain, Canada, and Israel. The announcement fell on the 25th commemoration of the terror attacks in which 85 were killed. It announced it would immediately freeze Hezbollah assets in Argentina. Netanyahu called on the global community to follow, stating, “The time has come for the entire enlightened world to understand the severity of the danger from Iran and Hezbollah. The time has come for the entire world to come out against them. I regret that that has not yet happened to a sufficient degree and I have already said that even if we have to stand alone against Iran and its proxies – we will do so.”
He vowed Israel would continue its efforts in Syria “to prevent Iranian forces from entrenching themselves there. We will not allow a second Lebanon in Syria,” and clarified, that “the principle that has guided my government is simple: Whoever rises up to kill you, prevent him from arming himself, especially with advanced, equilibrium-changing weapons.”
Specifically, on Lebanon’s advanced missile capabilities and weapon caches, Netanyahu warned, “We will not allow any immunity to those who fire missiles at Israel even if they hide in densely populated areas. We will do everything to avoid injury to innocents, but we will not give immunity to those who launch missiles or to those who send them – not in Lebanon, not in Gaza, not anywhere.” He again condemned the Lebanese government for its silence, stating “The Lebanese government does not voice any opposition to Hezbollah militarily entrenching itself on its territory. It will also bear responsibility for this aggression.”
Finishing, he responded again to Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah’s threats of war and extinction and declared, “if we are forced to embark on another war, we will act with great strength, and we will ensure our victory.”