‘We’re keeping our eyes open,’ says IDF chief of staff amid reports of possible Iranian escalation

Kochavi addressed reports of Iranian threats against Israel from the north. 

By World Israel News Staff

IDF Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi made reference to reports of a possible Iranian-led escalation on Israel’s northern border during a memorial ceremony for fallen paratroopers on Monday, Israel’s Ynet news site reports.

“Security challenges have been facing Israel in the past and are facing us today. We dealt with them in the past, and we will deal with them today,” Kochavi said.

“We won’t permit harm to befall the State of Israel – and if something happens, we will react with force.”

“We’re keeping our eyes open, making daily assessments and making professional and responsible decisions,” the chief of staff said.

Iran was the major topic of discussion at a Security Cabinet meeting on Sunday, the first in two months.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the meeting, “We need a broad government because in the face of the challenges of Iran and the precision weapons aimed at Israel, we need to allocate very large resources to build Israel the required security.”

Netanyahu reportedly called for an air defense project that would cost billions of shekels. The system would be designed to counter the threat of Iranian cruise missiles.

Last month, Brig. Gen. Dror Shalom, head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Research Division, said that Iran would likely use Iraq as a launching pad to send missiles against Israel. He said the assault would resemble the recent attack on the Saudi oil facilities.

On September 14, Saudi Arabia suffered a major blow to an Aramco installation. Initially blamed on Houthi forces from Yemen – an Iranian proxy – it was later determined that the attack was a result of cruise missiles launched directly from Iran.

Minister of Aliyah and Integration Yoav Galant, formerly a high-ranking IDF officer and one-time candidate for chief-of-staff, told Army Radio this week that he agreed with the assessment that Iran could attack Israel as it had done with Saudi Arabia.

If Iran could “shoot in one direction” at Saudi Arabia from hundreds of  kilometers away, it could “shoot in another direction” at Israel from hundreds of kilometers away, he said.