Iran is the primary actor responsible for escalations in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday. "Gaza is Iran," the prime minister told a special Knesset session in which he was obligated to speak.

Connecting the recent round of violence in Gaza and the Iranian nuclear threat, Netanyahu said he is not prepared to accept a situation in which the country, which backs terrorist groups, becomes a nuclear power.

The prime minister went on to lay blame for Iran's influence in the Strip on the 2005 Gaza Disengagement Plan and those politicians who supported it. "You inserted Iran into Gaza," he told members of Knesset.

In general, and regarding the Iranian threat in particular, Netanyahu praised Israel's alliance with the United States but said Israel's ability and right to defend itself was even more important .

During his recent trip to Washington, during which he met with US President Barack Obama, Netanyahu paraphrased former prime minister Menachem Begin to explain why he emphasized and reiterated Israel's right to defend itself.

"Israel has never put its fate in the hands of others and that is my primary responsibility as prime minister," he said.

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