By Erin Viner
“A significant chunk of the boost to the defense budget – as was recently agreed – is intended for this purpose. It’s a very complicated job, with much more intelligence, much more operational capabilities, much more armaments. We’re working on all these things,” the IDF chief said in an interview published by Walla News.
Stressing that “Iran is only 2 months away from acquiring the materials necessary for a nuclear weapon,” Lt. Gen. Kochavi said Israel must have “a viable ‘Plan B’ in order to stop Iran in its tracks” from reaching atomic bombs capability while it remains unclear if the Ayatollah regime intends to negotiate a new agreement with the international community.
The Israeli military “is operating at much greater depths, at 360 degrees throughout all the Middle East,” emphasized Kochavi, as part of preparations to preemptively neutralize threats “head-on” rather than wait until it is too late.
He explained even though Israel’s primary goal is “minimizing Iranian presence in the Middle East, with an emphasis on Syria,” that operations are ongoing throughout the region including against Iran’s proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon and Gaza’s Islamist Hamas rulers. The IDF has been “very active in disrupting the smuggling routes of Hezbollah, of Hamas, of Iran, in all regions,” he said, and “greatly diminished Iran’s presence and weaponry in the northern arena – certainly in comparison to what they sought.”
The latest statements from the IDF Chief of Staff reinforce warnings made by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz last month.
“The State of Israel has the means to act and will not hesitate to do so,” said the Defense Chief, underscoring that he would “not rule out the possibility that Israel will have to take action in the future in order to prevent a nuclear Iran.”