Before meeting with cabinet members today, Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified that the IDF will “do whatever is necessary” to defend the State of Israel. He also commended the IDF chief-of-staff, saying that he has full confidence in him.


Netanyahu Photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Amid the rising tensions along Israel’s northern and southern borders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel is not interested in a war with Hamas but will “do whatever is necessary” to defend itself.  

Speaking before this week’s government meeting, Netanyahu commended the IDF chief-of-staff, saying that he has full confidence in him and the military. “The IDF is the strongest military in the Middle East and this is a good thing because we face many challenges,” he added, according to his office’s website. “As I also made it clear to [US] President [Donald] Trump and afterwards to European leaders and [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, our presence here is the main element in the Middle East blocking the spread of radical Islam, led by Iran and Islamic State which also threaten all other elements in the world.”

Last week, Netanyahu met with Putin in Moscow and discussed the Iranian presence in Syria. “Will Iran establish itself in Syria or will this process be stopped?” Netanyahu said to reporters following the meeting. “I made clear to Putin that we’ll stop it. If it doesn’t stop on its own, we’ll stop it. In fact, we’re already taking action.”

Netanyahu added that he and Putin also discussed Israel’s national security and the current threat in Lebanon. “I told him that the threat of precision missiles from Lebanon is serious and the State of Israel won’t tolerate this,” Netanyahu added. “The factories are under construction and therefore, we’re drawing a red line right now. It’s important that our enemies understand that not only will Israel not accept this, but there must be an understanding of the powers.”