The Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] are prepared and ready to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz told the Yedioth Ahronoth
newspaper in an interview published Sunday.
“In principle, we are ready to act,” the army chief revealed just ahead of Israel’s upcoming Independence Day, reports Ynet.com
This year, Israel’s Independence Day is celebrated on April 26. The Declaration of the Establishment of State of Israel was made on May 14, 1948, expressing the declaration to be “by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.” The new state was quickly recognized by the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as other countries, but not by the surrounding Arab states, which quickly declared war.
In the special pre-holiday interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, Gantz emphasized that 2012 was going to be “a critical year” in the heated Israel-Iran crisis.
“The State of Israel believes that nuclear arms in Iran’s possession are a very bad thing, which the world should stop and Israel should stop. We are preparing our plan accordingly.”
The army chief also addressed the likelihood of a broader regional war breaking out in the near future: “Our intelligence assessment asserts that given the strategic reality and instability in the region, the chance of deteriorating to a war is higher than in the past. There are no indications of war, but the chances of the situation deteriorating into one are higher than in the past.”
During the interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, Gantz also revealed that IDF operations being carried out beyond Israel’s borders have been ramped up.
“I don’t think you will find a point in time where something isn’t happening somewhere in the world,” he said. “The level of risk has increased as well. This is not something invented by Benny Gantz. I’m not taking the credit here. I’m simply accelerating all those special operations.”
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