Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz says Iran is an enemy that “wants to annihilate us” and is trying to find the means.
Gantz made the remarks on Monday during a symposium commemorating Menachem Begin, founder of the Likud party. Begin was Israeli prime minister in 1982 at the time of the invasion of Lebanon and of Operation Opera, aka Operation Babylon, an airstrike on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor.
“To deal with the Iranian aggression now requires political responsibility, prudent conduct and operational determination − and not hollering from the podium,” Gantz said.
He went on to say that Israel should do whatever it can, with or without the cooperation of its allies, to keep its security intact, adding, “We don’t have the privilege to lose even a single battle”.
Gantz claimed there were parallels between Begin and Yitzhak Rabin, the Labor prime minister killed in 1995 by a right-wing extremist two years after he signed the 1993 ‘Oslo Accords’ with the Palestinian Liberation Organization. “They saw themselves as fighting for Israel’s security and fighting for peace,” Gantz said.
Heading a military delegation, deputy chief of the Israeli Defense Forces Herzi Halevi landed in the US Monday for meetings with security officials at the Pentagon over how Washington might react to Iran firing missiles Sunday at Iraq’s Erbil in response to an Israeli airstrike on Damascus that killed two Iranian soldiers.