Iran could attack Israel, just as it did the Saudi oil fields: Galant

“Iran is not a theoretical enemy,” Absorption Minister Yoav Gallant said.

By
October 9, 2019 21:21
2 minute read.
Yoav Galant

Yoav Galant. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Iran could use a combination of cruise missiles and advanced drones to attack Israel, in a manner similar to the attack on the Saudi oil fields last month, Immigration and Absorption Minister Yoav Gallant told Army Radio.

A major-general (res.), Gallant was one of a number of security cabinet members who took to the airwaves this week to discuss the threat from Iran, in the aftermath of Sunday’s security cabinet meeting, which dealt with upgrading the country’s aerial defense system so it could better combat such an attack.

Gallant said he would not speculate on the likelihood of such an attack, but he noted that if Iran could “shoot in one direction [at Saudi Arabia] from hundreds of kilometers away” it could also “shoot in another direction [at Israel] from hundreds of kilometers away.”

“We are looking at what is happening around us,” he continued.

Since May, Iran has been increasing its hostile activity in the region, including an unprecedented attack on September 14 on the Saudi oil fields that involved the coordination of dozens of projectiles, missiles and drones, Gallant explained.

“Iran is not a theoretical enemy,” Gallant said, explaining that its regime has repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel.

Iran has denied attacking Saudi Arabia. Israel, the US, Saudi Arabia, France and Germany claim otherwise. This summer, Israel said it thwarted a potential Iranian drone attack against the Golan Heights.

Iranian threats against Israel should be taken very seriously, said Gallant, who explained that the attack on Saudi Arabia relied on low flying projectiles that went undetected and represented a new phase of warfare in the region.

Israel is not Saudi Arabia, and its military is capable of handling such an attack, but it is important to be alert and prepared, he said.

Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, who is a senior member of the Blue and White Party, told Army Radio the attack on the Saudi oil fields was unusual, but did not reveal anything new about Iran’s military capabilities.

“I am well acquainted with the Iranian threat, there has been nothing surprising,” Ya’alon said. “It is true that there is an increase in Iranian activity against the US and the Saudis, either directly or through proxies.”

Ya’alon is not a member of the security cabinet.

Israel is not facing a new situation with Iran, he said, speculating that the cabinet meeting was unnecessary and therefore more political in nature, given that it came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the middle of attempting to form a ruling coalition.

Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi told KAN Radio he hoped no one believed that the top military leaders who took part in the meeting were simply peons in some larger political game.

Israel is capable of defending itself, but Iran appears willing to increasingly take military risks, Hanegbi said. It points to the possibility that Iran is losing control or at least its sense of caution. The Saudi attack is particularly relevant to Israel because of Iran’s previous attempt to use drones against Israel, he added.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz told KAN Radio the attack on the Saudis crossed a line.

“’We are the only ones acting against Iran to protect ourselves,” he said. “When we cross the door of the cabinet meeting, we leave the politics outside.”


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