Former minister and member of the Security Cabinet Gideon Sa'ar.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
If an Israeli preemptive strike is not carried out in the near future, the window of opportunity for preventing Hezbollah’s precision strike capabilities will close, former education and interior minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) said at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem.
Despite the involvement in Syria’s civil war and the occasional Israeli strike on Hezbollah targets in Syria, Iranian effort through its proxy to develop a qualitative strike capability on Israel’s civilian infrastructures has significantly improved since the end of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Sa’ar warned.
Specifically, the former minister warned that Hezbollah was upgrading the accuracy of missiles which will be able to target Israeli civilian infrastructure
to a precision of 10 meters.
“If Hezbollah will achieve such capabilities, they will cause us very significant damage. This is a clear redline,” he explained.
“I call for a preemptive strike against precision-missile factories in Lebanon and other strategic threats that Hezbollah is developing, and I will back up and stand by such a decision if it will be taken.”
Admitting that such a preemptive strike might cause a serious response, Sa’ar argued that a future attack might be far less effective and will involve a far heavier price.
“We will pay a much heavier price in the next round of confrontation if we will not act,” he concluded.
In addition to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Sa’ar also commented on the Iranian threat in Syria.
The Israeli pattern of action so far in this arena, he argued, has been “shipment hunting,” while the Iranian strategy has been to stick to their goal and not respond to Israeli strikes.
In the Syrian context too, Sa’ar warned that if Israel did not step up its activity, it would pay a heavier price later on. He called to intensify strikes against any buildup of Iranian infrastructures.
Concerning the US peace initiative, dubbed by some as the “deal of the century,” the former minister said that coordination between the Israeli and the American governments today was at an all-time high and that he was hoping that the current administration will avoid the mistakes that previous administrations made – namely placing a Palestinian state at the center of the deal.
“It is wrong to place at the center of the solution the establishment of a new Arab state at the heart of our nation,” he argued. “Not only is this miserable idea not part of a solution, [but] it is only taking us far from peace and security, and will increase instability in the region.”
“A future Arab autonomy in Judea and Samaria should be connected to Jordan.”
He concluded that “We have nothing more to give in terms of territory – and we have no one to give it to.”
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