Gantz calls for US-led military build-up against Iran

Israel ready to strike worldwide, Prime Minister Bennett warns amid threat in Turkey.

 Israeli minister of Defense Benny Gantz gives a statement to the media at the IDF Central Command headquarters in Jerusalem, on March 30, 2022. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Israeli minister of Defense Benny Gantz gives a statement to the media at the IDF Central Command headquarters in Jerusalem, on March 30, 2022.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Israel will act anywhere in the world to protect its citizens, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned on Tuesday, as security agencies remained on high alert over Iranian plans to kill or abduct Israelis visiting Turkey.

“These days, we see attempts to harm Israelis in various sites abroad,” Bennett said at a memorial ceremony for soldiers who fell in Operation Peace for Galilee, the 1982 Lebanon War.

“The arms of Israeli security will do everything to thwart these terrorist attacks and to neutralize in advance those who send the terrorists,” Bennett stated. “We will not hesitate to use the force of the State of Israel everywhere in the world to protect our citizens.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz called for Israel and other countries in the region facing threats from Iran to build up their military capabilities under Washington’s aegis, ahead of a visit to the region by US President Joe Biden next month.

Gantz cited Israel’s security ties with Gulf Arab states that drew closer under a 2020 US-sponsored diplomatic drive, as well as Egypt and Jordan, and said there were efforts to expand such cooperation.

 Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz speaks to media during his visit to 5th Fleet Headquarters Navy Base in Juffair, Bahrain, February 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED) Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz speaks to media during his visit to 5th Fleet Headquarters Navy Base in Juffair, Bahrain, February 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED)

“In the face of Iranian belligerence... what is needed is not just cooperation, but also a regional force build-up, with American leadership, which would strengthen all parties involved,” Gantz said at the prized ceremony for the Israel Security Award. “On this, we are working continually, for the sake of the security of Israel’s citizens.”

“In the face of Iranian belligerence... what is needed is not just cooperation, but also a regional force build-up, with American leadership, which would strengthen all parties involved.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz

The National Security Council issued a heightened travel warning, at the highest possible level, against Israelis traveling to Turkey this week due to terrorist threats, as Israeli and Turkish security and intelligence agencies worked together to stop planned attacks on Israeli tourists.

The Islamic Republic has vowed to exact revenge on Israel, after the mysterious deaths of several Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officials in recent weeks.