The IDF is ready to reach any enemy target at any time, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said on Sunday, during an awards ceremony for reserve units.

“Recently, we’ve heard threats from near and far enemies to ‘wipe out’ the State of Israel from the map of the Middle East. In all these, I can say that the IDF is ready for any scenario. We will reach any place, anytime, and defend this nation,” Gantz said, speaking at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

In recent weeks, Iranian leaders, from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to military officials, have stepped up threats to annihilate Israel.

Khamenei described Israel as a “cancerous tumor” and “the biggest problem confronting Muslim countries today.”

The threats coincided with a message from Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, who threatened to kill tens of thousands of Israeli civilians in a future confrontation by striking strategic sites with rockets.

The threats came as tensions rose over Iran’s nuclear program.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak also spoke at Sunday’s ceremony, saying, “In the past two years, the map of the region is changing before eyes. Nations went out into the streets and toppled totalitarian states. Reality has given birth to unexpected results, more than once.”

Barak added that Israel resides in an unstable Middle East, and is surrounded by a “stormy sea, big parts of which refuse to accept it as a member of the nations with equal rights.”

The “reality in which we live has presented us with heavy challenges, the need to fully utilize resources and to prepare for all developments that may come from near or from afar,” he said.

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