Bennett: No more ‘surgical precision,’ Iranian forces are ‘legitimate targets’

“We will not be handling things with surgical precision, we view neighborhoods that have rockets as legitimate targets,” warned Israeli parliamentarian Naftali Bennett.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Naftali Bennet, Minister of Education, Minister of Diaspora Affairs, and a member of Israel’s security cabinet, said in an interview on Israeli Radio 103 on Wednesday that it’s “illogical” to send the IDF to fight terror organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah when hitting their Iranian backers makes more sense.

“Iran is behind the anti-Israel activity in Syria and Lebanon,” Bennett said on the program. “It is an octopus that sends out tentacles and expects us to act against its proxies, while it sits safely in its place. I am promoting a policy that calls for focusing our efforts against Iran itself.”

The minister did not act concerned about possible collateral damage, which has been the Israeli army’s chief concern in all its counter-attacks from the air as well as the ground over at least the past decade. Worry over civilian casualties has reportedly led to many cancelled airstrikes against wanted terrorists.

“The force behind everything is Iran and we must pinpoint the laser on it,” Bennet commented. “I am putting forward a strategic line and saying that we will not be handling things with surgical precision, we view neighborhoods that have rockets as legitimate targets.”

He did not, however, answer a direct question regarding whether an Israeli attack is imminent.

This is not the first time the hawkish minister has talked of Iran being the correct target for Israel’s military. At the recently concluded International Conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, Bennet spoke about Iran’s short- and long-term strategies and what Israel’s response should be.

“For more than 30 years, the Iranian swamp has been sending mosquitoes at us,” Bennett said in his INSS speech. “Once from a forward base in Lebanon, another time from a forward base in Gaza. Now it is trying to establish a base in Syria.” The cost, he continued, was a heavy one: “Hundreds of soldiers and civilians killed in the fighting against the emissaries of Iran.”

“The Iranian chain of command consists of four entities,” he noted. “The sender, the purveyor, the host and the messenger. … [T]he State of Israel has focused for 30 years on fighting only the emissaries. We barely touched the hosts, and we never touched the purveyor or the sender. “