The Jerusalem Post– Iran could use a combination of cruise missiles and advanced drones to attack Israel, in a manner similar to the way it attacked the Saudi oil fields last month, Absorption Minister Yoav Galant told Army Radio.
A Major-General (Res.), Galant was one of a number of Israel’s security cabinet members who took to the airwaves this week to discuss the threat from Iran, in the aftermath of Sunday’s security cabinet meeting that dealt with upgrading Israel’s aerial defense system so that it could better combat such an attack.
Galant said he would not speculate on the likelihood of such an attack, but he noted that if Iran could “shoot in one direction [at Saudi Arabia] from hundreds of kilometers away” it could also “shoot in another direction [at Israel] from hundreds of kilometers away.
“We are looking at what is happening around us,” he continued.
Since May Iran has been increasing its hostile activity in the region, including an unprecedented attack on September 14 on the Saudi oil fields that involved the coordination of dozens of projectiles, missiles and drones, Galant explained.
“Iran is not a theoretical enemy,” Galant said, explaining that its regime has repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel.
Iran has denied attacking Saudi Arabia. But Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia, France and Germany hold that Iran was behind the attack. This past summer, Israel said it thwarted a potential Iranian drone attack against the Golan Heights.
Iranian threats against Israel should be taken very seriously, said Galant, who explained that the attack on Saudi Arabia relied on low flying projectiles that went undetected and represented a new phase of warfare in the region.
Israel is not Saudi Arabia and its military is capable of handling such an attack, but it is important to be alert and prepared, he said.
Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who is a senior member of the Blue and White party, told Army Radio the attack on the Saudi oil fields was unusual, but did not reveal anything new about Iran’s military capabilities.
“I am well acquainted with the Iranian threat, there has been nothing surprising,” Ya’alon said. “It is true that there is an increase in Iranian activity against the US and the Saudis, either directly or through proxies.”
Ya’alon is not a member of the security council.
Israel is not facing a new situation with Iran, Ya’alon said, speculating that the cabinet meeting was unnecessary and therefore more political in nature, given that it came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the middle of attempting to form a ruling coalition.
Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzahi HaNegbi told KAN Radio he hoped that no one believed that the Israeli’s top military leaders who took part in the meeting were simply peons in some larger political game.
Israel is capable of defending itself, but Iran appears willing to increasingly take military risks, HaNegbi said. It points the possibility that Iran is losing control or at least its sense of caution. The Saudi attack is particularly relevant to Israel because of Iran’s previous attempt to use drones against Israel, he added.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz told Kan Radio the Iranian attack on the Saudi oil field crossed a line.
“’We are the only ones acting against Iran to protect ourselves,” he said. “When we cross the door of the cabinet meeting, we leave the politics outside.”
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