Moshe Ya'alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visit Israel Aerospace Industries..
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Iran is seeking to open a new front against Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday during a visit to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to mark Space Week.
Speaking a little more than a week after an air strike, attributed by international media reports to Israel, that struck and killed 12 Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah operatives in Quneitra, Syria, near the Israeli border, Ya’alon appeared to link the air strike to Iran’s activities in Syria.
Ya’alon, who visited the defense company’s missile and satellites plant in Yehud together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said IAI allows Israel to be one of the few countries that are members of the limited club with satellites in space for both security and civilian needs.
“One can understand, in light of the challenges we face today, the importance of our space capability when we talk about long-range threats and, particularly, as we see, Iran, which continues to be a source of Middle East instability. The Islamic State is a phenomenon that has to be dealt with, and what we are seeing in the past 30 years is that Iran is turning into a source of instability in the Middle East.
“This is true with regard to the need to prevent Iran from having a military nuclear capability, and it’s true regarding the need to prevent it from attacking us, whether from Lebanon with Hezbollah or from Gaza, with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or whether it’s what we saw last Sunday – an Iranian arm that is beginning to develop, to open a front against us on the Golan Heights,” he said.
Iran’s tentacles also reach into Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and other places. Hence, the place we are in now is so important in terms of our ability in space to deal with these distant challenges, he said.
The targets of last week’s strike included Jihad Mughniyeh, son of the late Hezbollah terrorist operations commander; senior Hezbollah member Mohammad Issa; and IRGC Gen. Muhammad Ali Allahdadi. According to Western intelligence sources, the operatives were planning a series of rocket attacks, bombings, antitank-missile strikes and infiltrations against Israel.
“We must be prepared for any attempt to challenge us in light of calls heard on the other side,” Ya’alon said, referring to calls in Iran to attack Israel.
“We must continue to keep calm and be patient and know how to respond in the most suitable manner, which will clarify to all who try to harm us that we will not tolerate provocations from any area.”