Netanyahu: Enemies who want to destroy Israel face destruction themselves

In his speech to the students going on their first day of school in Elkana, Netnyahu said it is clear the terrorism Israel faces can have its source traced to Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Elkana on the first day of the school year, September 1, 2019 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Elkana on the first day of the school year, September 1, 2019
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel's enemies, especially Iran, should know that those who seek to destroy it risk destruction themselves, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, amid mounting tensions with Iran and its proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.
Speaking to students on the first day of school in Elkana, Netanyahu said it is clear today that most of the terrorism Israel faces is organized, sponsored and funded from one place: Iran.
“A new empire has arisen with the goal of defeating us,” he said.  “They build proxies in Lebanon in the form of Hezbollah, in Gaza in the form of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They are trying to entrench themselves in Iraq to turn it into not only a country through which it can transfer arms to Syria and Hezbollah, but also to turn it into a launching pad for rockets and infiltration against us.”
Netanyahu said that Israel is fighting Iran on all these fronts, and is determined to prevent it from entrenching itself militarily in the region and from getting nuclear weapons, “which would unequivocally alter the balance.”
In addition, he said, Israel is fighting against terrorism in Judea and Samaria, noting that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) thwarts about 500 attacks a year, or an average of two a day.
Netanyahu said that Israel presence in the West Bank is critical in stopping the attacks. “We are not only engaged in hot pursuit, but we are shaking the leaves all the time,” he said, adding that while unfortunately some attacks are not stopped beforehand – “it is impossible to stop them all” – in the end Israel does find the perpetrators of all attacks.
Israel, Netanyahu said, is dealing with radical Islam. “And this is the main point – you can negotiate with an enemy that has decided to stop being your enemy. They always say, ‘You make peace with your enemies.' Peace you make with enemies that decided to stop being an enemy. But enemies that continue to fight against you, who say openly that they want to destroy you – there is only one way to deal with them: If someone rises to kill you, rise up and kill him first, and prevent him from getting game-changing weapons.”   
Netanyahu said that the last five years have been marked by the lowest number of combined civilian and IDF casualties since the 1967 Six Day War.  “This comes as a result of a willingness to fight,” he said. “ We are not eager to fight because we know the price we pay, but when it is necessary, we are not deterred.”