According to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Israel needs to allocate at least a billion NIS a year to prepare northern Israel for war. “The best situation is in the south; the worst situation is in the north,” he stated on Sunday.

Liberman in northern Israel

Liberman in northern Israel Photo Credit: Ariel Harmoni/Israeli Defense Ministry

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Sunday that a war in northern Israel would catch the emergency services and defense infrastructure off guard. According to Liberman, the State of Israel has been preoccupied with investing in security measures along the Israeli-Gazan border while ultimately ignoring the north.  

“The best situation is in the south; the worst situation is in the north,” he explained at a Yedioth Ahronoth conference in Jerusalem. “We can’t just make statements. In the Gaza border vicinity, where there are about 46,000 residents, the State of Israel has invested about NIS 37,000 per resident. In the north, the situation is the opposite. If we’re are talking about the same border, in the north it’s 900 kilometers [about 559 miles], some 244,000 residents [live along it], and we’ve invested NIS 970 per resident.”

Liberman said that he is pressing for a multi-year plan to improve the defense in the north. “A billion NIS a year is the minimum [required],” he said. “I’m not trying to place the blame on anyone. This is the situation. The responsibility lies with the entire cabinet.”

When asked about Iran, Liberman said that Israel will prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon. “This isn’t just a slogan,” he stressed. “There won’t be an Iranian military presence in Syria and there won’t be a nuclear Iran.”