Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a first statement since the escalation in northern Israel that Israel will always protect its interests in the face of provocation. “This is not the time to talk,” he said. “It is the time to do.”

Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday addressed the current tensions existing along the Israeli-Syrian border during a morning visit in defense industry facilities in northern Israel. The escalation in the area came after clashes during an operation against Iranian and Syrian targets.

“This is not the time to talk,” Lieberman told reporters. “It is the time to do. We will respond to every provocation and we will continue to protect Israel’s essential security interests.”

“This is not the time to bark, but to bite,” the defense minister added. “And we will bite hard.”  

While it appears that the recent military tensions in northern Israel and Syria have deescalated, senior Israeli defense officials are warning that the next military clash with Tehran and Damascus is inevitable, several Israeli media outlets reported Monday. The tensions began to rise after an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace and was downed early Saturday morning.

When asked about the recent US statements supporting Israel after the incident, the defense minister said that “the US acts according to its interests.” Nevertheless, the defense minister commended the open support that Israel has received since Saturday’s operation.

Lieberman also addressed the Monday attack of the two IDF soldiers by a Palestinian mob in Jenin. The defense minister commended the Palestinian police officers and the successful coordination with Israel. “The Palestinians understand that security coordination is a mutual interest,” Lieberman explained. “Both sides are maintaining the arrangement.”