“Keeping Iran far from Israel’s borders and reducing its influence near Israel is no less important than defeating Islamic State,” Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. General Gadi Eizenkot said on Wednesday, July 5.
Cited in Israeli Daily Haaretz, General Eizenkot made the comments at the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
“Driving Iran out of the region, firstly, requires driving it and its allies out of the areas close to Israel’s borders,” Eizenkot said. “This is a challenge, probably the most important challenge Israel is currently facing,” he added.
General Eizenkot listed Hezbollah, Syria and Iran as the most dangerous factors currently threatening Israel.
The top Israeli commander noted the increasingly dangerous firepower his country faces. “Iran, Syria and Hezbollah’s attempts at improving the accuracy of their missiles, while also trying to obtain more of them, are at the top of Israel’s threat list,” General Eizenkot reportedly said.
“We are conducting an entire campaign against the ‘precision project,’ [ED: of rockets and missiles] which is at the top of our priorities,” added Eizenkot.
Eizenkot claimed that Israel’s intelligence capability in monitoring Hezbollah’s movements has been improved since the 2006 Lebanon War (also known as the Israel-Hezbollah War).
Senior Israeli government and military commanders have in recent months repeatedly accentuated that they will not tolerate Iran and its allies, including Syria, creating a permanent military presence near Israeli borders.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has also stressed that Israel is watching reports on the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ (IRGC) efforts to construct underground factories for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Lieberman also emphasized in recent days that, from Israel’s point of view, any agreement on Syria is unacceptable without ensuring that Bashar Assad, Iran and Hezbollah are all ousted from Syria.