Defense Minister Ehud Barak 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Hezbollah plans to continue attacks on Jewish targets abroad, Defense Minister
Ehud Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on
Although recent attempted attacks have failed, Hezbollah is
likely to continue the attempts, he said.
According to Barak, Israeli
deterrence is still strong in Lebanon. At the same time, Hezbollah is continuing
to obtain many rockets of different kinds.
The defense minister also
pointed out that Iran funds, and in some cases initiates, terror attacks around
Israel will see the Lebanese government as responsible for any
escalation with Hezbollah, he added, in light of the fact that the terrorist
organization is a significant player in Lebanese politics.
2006 [the Second Lebanon War], when we avoided state targets, we will not
hesitate to attack – in accordance with international law – Lebanese national
infrastructures with all our power,” Barak said.
Barak also spoke about
the possibility of attacking Iran, saying that its nuclear plants will soon
enter an “immunity zone,” rendering a “surgical attack” impossible.
sanctions are important and harm the Iranian economy, they have yet to convince
Tehran to change its nuclear program, he added.
“If Iran gains military
nuclear capabilities, a conflict with them will be longer, more complicated and
cost more in human life and resources,” Barak stated.
In reference to
last week’s rocket attacks from Gaza, the defense minister said that Israel has
increased deterrence, and Islamic Jihad has been significantly
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz
(Kadima) criticized Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for speaking
irresponsibly about Iran.
“We do not need so many details in the
newspaper, stop the chatter,” he said.
Barak praised the Iron Dome
missile-defense system and its capabilities, which he said protects citizens and
gives the government more space to make decisions. The IDF plans to purchase
more Iron Dome batteries sooner than planned and to continue developing the
Magic Wand defense system, which will stop mid-range missiles.
same time, the Iron Dome cannot replace a military operation, Barak added, and
the IDF must always have the ability to stop its enemies on the battlefield.