During a rare interview with a Saudi newspaper, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that Israel and Saudi Arabia share a common understanding when it comes to the threat from Iran. He also said that while Israel has no intention of attacking Hezbollah, it will not tolerate any strategic threat from the terrorist group.


Eizenkot Photo Credit: Flash90

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot commented during a rare interview with the Saudi newspaper Elaph on the possibility of a future war against Iran and Syria. During the interview, which was released today (Thursday), Eizenkot also said that Israel and Saudi Arabia share a common understanding when it comes to the threat from Iran. According to him, Israel is even ready to share sensitive intelligence with Riyadh. “Saudi Arabia and Israel have common interests against Iran,” he explained.

Eizenkot also commented on Israel’s developing relations with moderate Arab states, saying: “The State of Israel is currently in its finest military condition. We’ve advanced a great deal. We have a military force, intelligence, an air force and ground forces that are in the best condition and everyone knows this. Thus, we are highly admired by the moderate states in the region.”

He then explained that Israel’s threat perception has changed in recent years and clarified that a war can still occur in the region due to isolated incidents and not necessarily as a result of a direct conflict with a foreign army. “[If] in the past the threat was from the armies of states, such as the Syrian [Army], there are today various areas of tensions such as Lebanon, Hezbollah, the West Bank, Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula and Syria,” he stated.

During the interview, Eizenkot also analyzed the Russian and American strategies in the Middle East and said that the U.S. has tried to establish alliances in order to fight ISIS while increasing its ties to the moderate Sunni states. He added that in his opinion, the American strategy has been efficient thus far.

Pro-Iranian forces in Syria

Pro-Iranian forces in Syria Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Regarding ISIS, the head of the IDF warned that even though it looks like the terrorist group is being erased from the Syrian map, it can still pop up in other countries and recruit members from other terrorist organizations. “We have a clear policy of not taking part in the war in Syria but we did intervene when we saw an attempt to attack our Druze brothers,” he added. “We gave them armored vehicles and warned that we would attack if they entered [a Druze village].”  

Eizenkot concluded the interview by commenting on the tensions along Israel’s northern border and the possibility of a war with Hezbollah. “We have no intention of launching an attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon and starting a war,” he explained. “But we won’t tolerate a strategic threat against Israel.”