Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett yesterday called for escalating confrontations with Iran at all levels in the international arena after an Israeli fighter jet was downed in Syria on Saturday, Israeli media reported.
Bennett called for taking action against the “head of the octopus” instead of cutting off its arms, according to the Israeli new website Ynet News.
“We need to wage a persistent and continuous campaign - diplomatic, economic, preventative, intelligence-based - against the Al Quds Forces and Iran,” Ynet News reported him saying. “Otherwise, you are fighting the octopus' tentacles.”
“We will not allow them to entrench themselves. It is a fact they do not have divisions, brigades or even battalions in Syria. They do not have airports and sea ports.”
Bennett, the head of the Israeli Jewish Home party, also said: “We know how to stop them deep [inside Syria], and we have only used an ounce of our abilities. I think this is a pretty good display.”
Stressing that Iran must not be allowed to come close to the Israeli borders, he said: “We will not allow them to have a foothold, we will not wait for them to get to the border fence.”
“You can buy some calm on the short term if you don't do anything and enjoy a few months of quiet,” he said, warning that Iran will use this “later, when we have no choice but to act, the price would be much higher.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said: “If Iran continues to threaten and carry out offensive operations against Israel from Syria, Israel will teach Iran a lesson that it will never forget.”
However in an interview with Echorouk El Yawmi newspaper, Iranian writer and political analyst, Hassan Hanizadeh, ruled out any possibility of a direct confrontation between Tehran and Tel Aviv, after Russia intervened to stop the clash. He stressed that his country has all the capabilities to face any aggression.
Source: Quds Press International News Agency
Translated by: Middle East Monitor
In collaboration with the Palestinian Media Forum