Defense Minister says Israel is updating its plans to strike Iranian nuclear sites and Hezbollah terror targets in Lebanon.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned Thursday that Israel’s military is updating plans to strike Iranian nuclear sites and is prepared to act independently.
In an interview with Fox News from his office in Jerusalem, Gantz said Israel has identified numerous targets inside Iran that would hurt its ability to develop a nuclear bomb.
“If the world stops them before, it’s very much good. But if not, we must stand independently and we must defend ourselves by ourselves,” Gantz said.
Gantz also warned that Israel is paying close attention to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, which is financed and armed by Tehran, after intelligence assessments determined that Iran may choose to attack Israel during 2021 using its proxy militias in Lebanon and Syria.
The defense minister showed Fox a classified map of targets in Lebanon showing how many of Hezbollah’s estimated arsenal of almost 200,000 rockets and missiles are placed in the middle of civilian in Lebanon. Hezbollah is known to use the Lebanese population as both as a shield for its weaponry and as an excuse if there are casualties from any Israeli military retaliation against the rockets.
“This is a target map. Each one of them has been checked legally, operationally, intelligence-wise and we are ready to fight,” Gantz said.
In a surprise simulation last month, the Israel Air Force carried out a three-day military exercise simulating a war with Hezbollah in which the Israeli military hit 3,000 simulated Hezbollah targets a day.
Over the past several years Israel has been repeatedly intercepting shipments of advanced weaponry from Iran to Hezbollah by attacking the shipments as they pass through Syria. Since the start of 2020, Israel hit more than 500 Iranian-linked sites in Syria with airstrikes, the Fox report noted.
Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Gantz have warned U.S. President Biden against returned to the Iran Nuclear Deal without changing it to eliminate Iran’s repeated threats to annihilate Israel, including restrictions on Tehran’s ballistic missile program that is widely believed to be the delivery system for nuclear weapons and reigning in Iran’s military aggression in the region through the proxy terror groups it supports.
Speaking to Vice-President Kamala Harris by phone Thursday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s determination to stop the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Gantz said the Americans had their own interests to look after, but so does Israel.
“The American policy should be American policy, and Israeli policy should stay Israeli policy,” he said.