Netanyahu: Israel acts against threats that have not yet materialized

The comments came amid reports Iran positioned missiles in Iraq.

Netanyahu: Israel acts against threats that have not yet materialized, September 4, 2018 (GPO)
Working on the principle of “seeing what is coming,” Israel acts against far-away threats that have not yet reached the country’s borders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday in comments made more significant by reports that Iran has positioned missiles in Iraq. .
Reuters reported over the weekend that Iran had transferred short-range ballistic missiles to its Shia proxies in Iraq that are capable of reaching both Israel and Saudi Arabia.
“We live in a challenging area - and we can handle it,” Netanyahu said at a pre-Rosh Hashanah toast in the Prime Ministers Office.
The prime minister said that Israel strikes its enemies “when necessary,” and is capable of “hitting them even harder.”
“We defend our borders and we also deal with threats when they are farther away and have not yet reached us, within the framework of 'foreseeing 'what is coming,' – preempting evil. We do that,” he said.
Netanyahu's statement follows veiled comments Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman made a day earlier, saying that Israel is “certainly monitoring everything that is happening in Syria and, regarding Iranian threats, we are not limiting ourselves just to Syrian territory – this also needs to be clear.
”When asked whether this includes possible strikes in iraq, Lieberman said that Israel would deal with any Iranian threat, regardless of where it came from.
Channel 1 reported recently that the US has asked Israel to refrain from attacking in Iraqi territory. Israel has reportedly struck Iranian and Hezbollah military targets repeatedly inside Syria over the last year.
Netanyahu said that even as Israel was dealing with these challenges, it is acquiring friends around the world, including within the region.
“They see our strength, our commitment to defend our state, develop it, turn it into an economic, technological military and intelligence power – and that brings friends,” he said.
At a pre-Rosh Hashanah event a day earlier at the Foreign Ministry, Netanyahu said that there was a “gradual normalization” underway between Israel and “key countries in the Arab world.”