Barak: Hezbollah is continuing to target Jews

Iran will soon enter “immunity zone,” making an attack difficult, defense minister tells Knesset committee.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
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 Monday.
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 the world.
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.
“Unlike in 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.
While 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 weakened.
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.
At the 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.