Army chief: IDF prepared for Iran strike (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Alex Fishman Published: 04.22.12, 11:37)
YNet News - Yediot Achronot
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IDF ready to attack Tehranís nuclear facilities if needed, Chief of
Staff Benny Gantz says; military constantly engaged in covert, high-
risk operations beyond Israelís borders, he says
Should Israel decide to strike Iranís nuclear facilities, the IDF
will be prepared to carry out the mission, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz
told Yedioth Ahronoth in remarks published Sunday.
"In principle, we are ready to act," the army chief told the
newspaper in a special interview ahead of Israelís upcoming
In respect to the Iranian threat, 2012 will be a critical year, Gantz
said, adding that "the State of Israel believes that nuclear arms in
Iranís possession are a very bad thing, which the world should stop
and Israel should stop."
"We are preparing our plan accordingly," he said.
Israel is the only country in the world facing open destruction
threats by another state, which is also producing the means to do
carry them out, the army chief said. However, he noted, this does not
mean that he will be ordering the armyís Air Force chief to strike
When asked whether Israel faces an existential threat at this time,
Gantz said: "The potential exists. At this time, in my estimate, this
is not the case."
ĎHigher chance of warí
During the interview, Gantz also addressed special operations carried
out by the IDF beyond Israelís borders, revealing that the scope of
such activities has increased significantly compared to the past.
"I donít think you will find a point in time where something isnít
happening somewhere in the world," he said. "The level of risk has
increased as well. This is not something invented by Benny Gantz. Iím
not taking the credit here. Iím simply accelerating all those special
Regarding the likelihood of a war breaking out this year, Gantz
said: "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."
The army chief added that in case of a regional war, the IDF will be
able to cope with the rocket threat from Lebanon and from the Gaza
"I canít promise no missiles will be landing here. They will be
falling; many of them. It wonít be a simple war, neither on the
frontlines nor ion the home front,Ē he said. ďHowever, I donít advice
anyone to test us on this front."
"When (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah comes out of his bunker,
heís concerned Ė and rightfully so. He saw what happened to Lebanon
last time, and it wonít be close to what will happen to Lebanon next
time," the army chief said. "I think they understand it well."
(Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 04/22/12)
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