Flashpoint / Israel/Palestine 10 December 2019 Israel Share Facebook Twitter Email Print Back To Map I. Why it Matters Israel regards Iran as its main regional foe. It has welcomed President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear agreement, which the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, adamantly opposed for inadequately dealing with an “existential” security threat. Israel also is concerned about Iran’s support for militant groups in Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories and about its military deployments in Syria. Indeed, the Israeli-Iranian standoff could trigger escalating tit-for-tat strikes and even a wider direct or indirect conflict between them and their respective allies. II. Recent Developments 10 December 2019 An Iranian defence official warned that “if Israel makes a mistake, even if it is the smallest one, against Iran, we will flatten Tel Aviv into dirt from Lebanon… Our fighters' fingers are on the trigger on the order of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. If the Leader gives an order to attack Israel with missiles - the Zionists [ie, Israel] will raise their hands and surrender”. Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz subsequently responded by emphasising that “Israel is not the helpless protesters being slaughtered by the ayatollah regime in Iran and Iraq. We will be able to respond forcefully to any threat or attack”. “[Hizbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah has shown himself as Iran’s doll”, Katz added. Lebanon’s defence minister subsequently asserted that “if what is attributed to the adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard head is true, then it is unfortunate and unacceptable, and it violates the sovereignty of Lebanon, which has ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a friendship that cannot affect the independence of Lebanon in any way”. An IRGC spokesperson subsequently maintained that the “remarks have been misinterpreted and misquoted by the media”. View More 8 December 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu commented that “Iran is continuing its aggression in the Middle East and is even increasing it”. He further maintained that “there are growing indications that this murderous attack in Baghdad [against protesters on 7 December] was carried out by Shiite Iraqi militias on direct instruction from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. At this time, against this murderousness, the pressure on Iran must be increased”. Netanyahu went on to pledge that “with or without the countries of Europe, Israel will not allow Iran – at any stage – to develop nuclear weapons”. View More 8 December 2019 Israel’s defence minister remarked that “we are telling the Iranians: Syria will become your Vietnam… If you don’t leave, you will become entrenched and you will bleed because we will work without hesitation to remove aggressive forces from Syria”. In related remarks, the Israeli foreign minister asserted that “dialogue with Bashar Assad cannot be resumed as long as Syria allows Iran to use its territory against Israel and moderate Arab states”. View More 8 December 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated that “we are leading a relentless effort for sanctions on Iran, pressure on Iran, opposition to Iran and active and military opposition to its attempts to entrench on our border”. View More 8 December 2019 A senior Huthi official indicated that “the [Huthi] Yemeni Armed Forces has completed all aspects of construction that qualify it for a comprehensive strategic attack that cripples the enemy's capabilities… [It] has a bank of naval and ground military targets for the Zionist enemy [ie, Israel], and we will not hesitate to hit it whenever the leadership decides”. View More 6 December 2019 Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, indicated that “we will not allow Iran to produce or obtain nuclear weapons. If the only option left to us is the military option, we’ll act militarily”. He went on to assert that “the actions against Saudi Arabia [on September 14] and the oil tankers make us understand that Iran still feels strong. Our intelligence information tells us that it intends to hit the Gulf countries again. The threat of sanctions is not enough. The only deterrent is a military threat directed against the regime”. “U.S. pressure and sanctions are effective”, Katz added. “We expect Iran’s attempts to procure nuclear weapons and support terrorist groups to decline, but this will be easier if there is support from European countries. As long as the Iranians delude themselves that they have the support of Europe, it will be more difficult for them to bend”. Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson subsequently reacted by stating that “we regard the threats made by the Israeli regime as a sign for its weakness and its effort to conceal the crisis its leaders are facing presently”. View More 6 December 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, “discussed Iran, the situation in Syria, Israel's security needs and the continued avoidance of friction between the IDF and Russian military forces”, according to Netanyahu’s office. View More 6 December 2019 Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, citing reports of what Israel’s defence ministry described as “a launch test… of a rocket motor system”, claimed that “Israel today tested a nuke-missile, aimed at Iran”. Zarif added that the “E3 and U.S. never complain about the only nuclear arsenal in West Asia – armed with missiles actually designed to be capable of carrying nukes – but has fits of apoplexy over our conventional and defensive ones”. View More 5 December 2019 Reacting to the E3’s letter to the UN conveying their view that “Iran’s development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and related technologies is inconsistent” with UNSC Resolution 2231, Israel’s foreign minister suggested that “the next step must be an effective military threat of a Western-Arab coalition led by the U.S. to deter Iranian aggression. These are critical moments”. View More 4 December 2019 A facility near al-Bukamal that media reports described as Iran-linked was reportedly hit by airstrikes. Prime Minister Netanyahu, asked whether he had authorised the attack, responded: “I don’t talk about that”. View More 4 December 2019 Speaking alongside U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “we have been fortunate that President Trump has led a consistent policy of pressure against Iran. Iran is increasing its aggression as we speak even today in the region. They’re trying to have staging grounds against us and the region from Iran itself, from Iraq, from Syria, from Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen, and we are actively engaged in countering that aggression”. Netanyahu further maintained that “Iran’s aggression is growing, but its empire is tottering. And I say let’s make it totter even further”. Secretary Pompeo, citing unrest in Iraq, Lebanon and Iran, stated that “some of these are people that are seeking freedom and a reasonable way to live, and they recognise the threat that is posed by the kleptocrats that are running the Islamic Republic of Iran”. View More 4 December 2019 Ahead of a meeting with Secretary of State Pompeo, Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that “President Trump has placed tremendous pressures and sanctions on Iran. We're seeing the Iranian empire totter. We see demonstrations in Tehran, demonstrations in Baghdad, demonstrations in Beirut. It's important to increase this pressure against Iranian aggression”. He further contended that “Iran wants to march forward with nuclear bombs development and ballistic missile development, including precision-guided munition. This has to be countered and the way to counter it is more pressure”. Referring to the decision by the six European countries to join INSTEX, Netanyahu reiterated that “they should be ashamed of themselves. While people are risking their lives and dying on the streets of Tehran, they are giving sustenance and support to this tyrannical regime. The tyrants of Tehran should not be supported now. They should be pressured”. View More 2 December 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that he had “a very important conversation for the security of Israel” with President Trump. “We discussed Iran, but we also spoke at length about the historic opportunities that we will have in the coming months… among them – the Jordan Valley as the recognised eastern border of the State of Israel as well as a defensive alliance with the U.S.”, Netanyahu added. View More 1 December 2019 Following the 29 November decision by six European countries to join INSTEX, Prime Minister Netanyahu argued that “countries in Europe are working to bypass U.S. sanctions against Iran. While the Iranian regime is killing its own people, European countries rush to support that very murderous regime. While Iran bombs Saudi Arabia's oil installations, while Iran rushes to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, European countries rush to appease Iran with even more concessions”. Netanyahu went on to maintain that “they are enabling a fanatic terrorist state to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, thereby bringing disaster to themselves and upon everyone else”. “Now is the time to ratchet up the pressures on Iran, not to lessen them. Now is the time to join the U.S. and increase sanctions against Iran”, he added. Israel’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement criticising the moves, arguing that “Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden could not have picked worse timing. The hundreds of innocent Iranians murdered during the latest round of protests are rolling in their graves”. View More 30 November 2019 Citing an internet shutdown in Iran during protests that followed the government’s decision to raise fuel prices on 15 November, Israel’s defence minister, Naftali Bennett, proposed that “every techie in the world – Israelis, Arabs, Iranians, Americans, Europeans and everyone else – unites for one purpose: to help the long-suffering Iranian people gain open access to all social media; A worldwide hackathon for freedom”. He went on to maintain that “together, we can show the Persian people, and the Iranian dictatorship, that power of the people is stronger than the people in power”. View More 29 November 2019 Discussing Iran’s presence in Syria, the Israeli defence minister asserted that “if we do not act today and take advantage of the window of opportunity, in the more distant future, the risk will be greater, and they will paralyse us because of the military capability that is going to develop. More offensive military action alongside increased U.S. economic sanctions and political pressure, these are the things that could get Iran out of Syria”. View More 27 November 2019 Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz stressed that “Hizbollah and its Iranian patron have taken Lebanon hostage. Their actions endanger stability and peace. Israel is determined to prevent Iranian efforts to arm Hizbollah in a manner that threatens the citizens of Israel”. View More 25 November 2019 Addressing Iran’s rivals, IRGC Commander Hossein Salami remarked that “you have experienced our power in the battlefield and received a powerful slap across your face and could not respond; the world has come to observe some of these slaps, while it has not in some other cases. You should wait. If you cross our redlines, we will annihilate you”. He also advised Israel “not to pin hope on the U.S. It comes too late when you have already been annihilated”. View More 24 November 2019 Referring to protests in Iran following the government’s decision to raise gas prices, Prime Minister Netanyahu contended that “Iran is not only attacking its neighbours and us, Iran is also attacking its citizens. In recent weeks, they have slaughtered hundreds of Iranian citizens. This is a tyrannical regime par excellence, the image and true face of which is now being exposed to the entire world. This is the largest terrorist regime in the world, regarding its own citizens as well”. He went on to urge “all countries around the world that want to achieve peace and stability in our region, and throughout the world in general, to join in the effort and apply more and more pressure on Iran, and, additionally, to support Israel as it takes action against this aggression”. “We have taken action and we will continue to do so”, he added. View More 24 November 2019 The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, met with his Israeli counterpart and “discussed several issues of mutual concern”. View More 24 November 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “Iran’s aggression in our region, and against us, continues. We are taking all necessary actions to prevent Iran from entrenching here in our region. This includes the activity necessary to thwart the transfer of lethal weaponry from Iran to Syria, whether by air or overland”. “We will also take action to thwart Iran's effort to turn Iraq and Yemen into bases for launching rockets and missiles against the State of Israel”, he added. Citing remarks by a senior U.S. defence official who had indicated that “it is very possible they [the Iranians] will attack again”, Netanyahu stated that “I can confirm that and I can also confirm to you that we are continuing our plans to thwart this aggression by various means”. View More 21 November 2019 Addressing the IAEA Board of Governors, Iran’s representative contended that “baseless allegations made by a few delegates, including the one of the Israeli regime… are just playing dirty politics to damage the existing positive momentum in the cooperation between Iran and the Agency”. He went on to posit that “fabrication of documents and providing diversionary information to the Agency and member states by this regime is not a new phenomenon. It is regretful that this regime, who is developing different types of WMDs, is doing all it can to mislead the public and the international community from the real threat to the regional and international peace, security and stability, and turn Iran’s peaceful nuclear program as a fabricated and unreal threat”. View More 21 November 2019 Israel’s foreign minister contended that “now is the time for the world, led by the U.S., to have an effective military threat against the Iranian regime, if it will continue its nuclear program”. He added that “we will strike at whomever threatens us… That is what we have always done, and what we will continue to do in the future”. Commenting on the U.S. maximum pressure policy, the foreign minister indicated that “we see the demonstrations in Iraq, Lebanon and also in Iran, and it is clear that the pressure is working… the public in the Arab states and in Iran itself are rising against Iran’s brutal oppression”. He further underscored that “we have no conflict with the Gulf states, and we have common interests in the field of security against the Iranian threat”. View More 20 November 2019 Referring to protests over the Iranian government’s decision to raise gas prices, President Rouhani claimed that “the people of Iran passed another historic test and proved that despite economic problems and discontent they may have with the management of the country, they will never let enemies take advantage of the situation”. He further posited that “the number of people who had taken to the streets was determined and it turned out that only a few hooligans were among them; but the hooligans were well organised and armed, acting on behalf of the regional reactionaries, the Zionists [ie, Israel] and Americans”. View More 20 November 2019 The Israeli military announced that it had "carried out wide-scale strikes of Iranian Qods force and Syrian Armed Forces targets in Syria in response to the rockets fired at Israel by an Iranian force in Syria", adding that "we will continue operating firmly and for as long as necessary against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria". Commenting on the action, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that "I have made clear that whoever hurts us - we will hurt him... we will continue to vigorously maintain the security of Israel". Israel's defence minister, Naftali Bennett, declared that "our message to the leaders of Iran is simple: You are not immune anymore. Wherever you send your octopus tentacles, we will hack them off". View More 19 November 2019 Amidst protests in Iran following the government’s decision to raise gas prices, Israel’s foreign minister remarked that “I send a message to the Iranian people: We are your friends… You have been taken captive by extremist Ayatollahs whom you do not want; who have developed means of oppression that they are using even now against demonstrators in Iraq and elsewhere. We stand by you”. View More 19 November 2019 The IDF reported that “four launches were identified from Syria toward northern Israel… all four were intercepted in the sky by Israeli air defence systems”. Israel's foreign minister subsequently contended that “this incident is an Iranian operation against the State of Israel… The State of Israel will continue to act according to its policy. The policy was and remains to prevent Iran from establishing itself in the area”. He further assessed that “the Iranian threat exists, but is less than what it used to be… Iran is suffering greatly from the American sanctions”. View More 16 November 2019 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued that “Iran uses its terrorist proxy Palestinian Islamic Jihad to strike our great ally Israel. Iran does not want peace in the region. It does not want the Palestinian people to prosper. It wants more conflict”. “Until we address Iran’s threats”, he added, “the cycle of violence will continue”. Pompeo further suggested that “the way forward is clear: continued pressure until Iran negotiates a comprehensive agreement that includes halting its support to terror groups like PIJ”. “Nations around the world can no longer claim to want peace in the region yet allow Iran’s threats to go unchallenged”, he emphasised. View More 15 November 2019 The U.S. co-chaired a meeting of the Warsaw Process Working Group on Missile Proliferation in Romania. The group discussed “dangerous trends associated with the proliferation of missile-related goods and technologies in the Middle East and resulting contribution to regional instability”. Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE were listed as having “contributed to the working group summary statement”. View More 15 November 2019 Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei emphasised that “the abolishment of Israel does not mean the abolishment of the Jewish people. We have nothing to do with them. Furthermore, there is a Jewish population living in our country in safety.” He maintained that “the people of Palestine, including the Muslims, Christians and Jews who are the original owners of that land, should be able to choose their government themselves. They should oust the foreigners and ruffians, like [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu, in order to govern their country themselves. And, this will surely happen”. View More 14 November 2019 President Reuven Rivlin reiterated that “[Iran] continues to be the greatest threat to the Middle East. We will not allow Iran to grow, to breed and to export terror, instability and threats to the State of Israel”. View More 14 November 2019 Referring to the “Operation Black Belt”, Prime Minister Netanyahu contended that “our enemies received the message. We can reach everyone. We can reach everyone, even in their bed. I hope that this lesson will be learned”. “We will continue to improve and do whatever may be necessary to ensure the security of Israel”, he added. View More 14 November 2019 Iranian President Rouhani claimed that “[a] strategic mistake in the world of Islam occurs when some consider Israel as their friend. It is very unfortunate that some Islamic countries that have to stand up for the interests of the world of Islam and their nation extended the hand of friendship towards the Zionist regime and even use its intelligence against the Muslim nations and the resistance movement”. “The problem is within us and we must reform within; we must solve the problems that they have created for us within the Muslim world”, Rouhani added, further asserting that “Israel and the U.S. are not anybody’s fiends but we are friends of the people of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and the people of the region”. View More 14 November 2019 Discussing “Operation Black Belt” in Gaza, Israel’s military spokesperson indicated that “we are at a high readiness and preparedness on all fronts, not only in Gaza. We are facing a significant challenge against Iranian activity in a variety of arenas and not only in Syria”. He also noted that “this operation in Gaza was a window of opportunity and the IDF must now concentrate on the northern border”. View More 13 November 2019 A U.S. senior official remarked that “we consider the funding of the LAF [Lebanese Armed Forces] to be a good investment. Of course we listen to our ally Israel and we will take their request [that military aid be contingent on curtailing Hizbollah’s missile capabilities] under consideration”. He further elaborated that “the U.S. has a lot of confidence in the Lebanese Armed Forces, and thinks they’re an excellent partner in fighting Sunni jihadist terrorists. And we think that it’s a valuable bilateral security arrangement. And we plan on continuing it”. View More 13 November 2019 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted with respect to Iran that “we’ve denied them resources. We’ve been very effective at that. There’s still an awful lot of work to do. And we have, at the same time, tried to ensure that there was adequate level of deterrence, and we’ve seen that Iran is determined to inflict harm not only on its neighbours, but the world by taking down… five-plus per cent of world’s energy supply”. Pompeo added that “President Trump understands that the driver of instability in the Middle East is, in fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran…the U.S. and Israel are working together along with our friends in the Gulf, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, the Bahrainis and others to try our best to ensure that there’s adequate levels of deterrence [against Iran] and make sure that the Iranian leadership knows that we will not tolerate their continued creation of instability in the region”. View More 12 November 2019 President Rouhani assessed that “it was because of the pressure from the Zionist regime [ie, Israel] and the Saudi money, as they themselves said, that Trump was forced to withdraw from the [nuclear] deal… This indicates the importance of the JCPOA and that they saw it so dangerous for their own purposes”. Rouhani added that “Iran did not withdraw from the deal and waited a year and gave the other sides several opportunities, and today no one in the world can blame Iran for reducing its commitments”. “The path we have chosen”, he continued, “is resistance, steadfastness and reducing our JCPOA commitments alongside negotiating with the world… we have not abandoned the option of negotiation and we have not relied solely on it. We have agreed on the principles in the negotiation process now, but we have disagreements on how they should be implemented”. View More 12 November 2019 Syria media reported that Israeli aircraft had “fired three missiles towards Damascus city”, purportedly targeting a Palestinian Islamic Jihad official. Prime Minister Netanyahu also confirmed that the Israeli military had “targeted senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata”, whom Netanyahu described as “a ticking bomb”, in Gaza. He added that “whoever thinks that it is possible to hurt our citizens and evade our long arm is mistaken. We have proven that we can attack with surgical precision anywhere terrorists hide. Whoever hurts us – we will hurt them”. View More 9 November 2019 The Huthi leader, Abd-al-Malik al-Huthi contended that “our people will not hesitate to declare jihad against the Israeli enemy, and to launch the most severe strikes against sensitive targets in the occupied territories if the enemy engages in any folly against our people”. He further maintained that “we reaffirm our anti-Israel position and that the regime is occupying one. This is a principled humanitarian, moral and religious commitment”. View More 7 November 2019 Following an IAEA Board of Governors meeting whose agenda included “safeguard matters in the Islamic Republic of Iran”, Prime Minister Netanyahu contended that “a year ago, speaking at the UN, I exposed Iran's secret nuclear warehouse in Turquzabad… The IAEA now confirms that Iran lied. And that Iran continues to lie. Everything I told you a year ago has now been confirmed by the IAEA. The IAEA has confirmed that Iran has been violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran continues to hide its secret nuclear weapons program”. “It's time for the nations of the world to resist Iran's aggression and terror”, Netanyahu added, stressing that “it's time to snap back sanctions. It's time to pressure Iran until it changes its ways. Iran must stop attacking the nations of the Middle East. Iran must stop threatening to destroy Israel. Europe must stop stalling. It must act against Iranian aggression now”. View More 6 November 2019 A senior Israeli official revealed that “we identify with the deep distress of the Kurds, and we are assisting them through a range of channels”. She further indicated that “Israel indeed has a salient interest in preserving the strength of the Kurds and the additional minorities in the north Syria area as moderate and pro-Western elements… the possible collapse of the Kurdish hold in north Syria is a negative and dangerous scenario as far as Israel is concerned. It is absolutely clear that such an event would bring about a bolstering of negative elements in the area, headed by Iran”. View More 6 November 2019 Israeli President Reuven Rivlin contended that “Iran continues to spread terror throughout the region. It continues to build military bases and plan attacks from Syria, and other parts of the region, Lebanon and even Yemen”. “Our enemies”, he added, “must know the state of Israel will do everything needed to defend its citizens”. View More 5 November 2019 A senior IDF official remarked that “there are Iranian Qods forces in the Golan Heights, and that’s not fear-mongering, they’re there”. He added that “all signs indicate that… 2020 has the potential to be an unfavourable year from a security perspective”. Referring to the 14 September attack against Saudi oil facilities, he opined that “it was a sophisticated attack that managed to evade both U.S. and Saudi defences… whoever says that it can’t happen to us isn’t a professional”. View More 5 November 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “Iran expands its aggression. It seeks to envelop Israel. It seeks to threaten Israel. It seeks to destroy Israel. We fight back”. He further asserted that “given Iran’s efforts to expand its nuclear weapons program, expand its enrichment of uranium for making atomic bombs, I repeat… we will never let Iran develop nuclear weapons. This is not only for our security and our future, it’s for the future of the Middle East and the world”. View More 4 November 2019 Israel’s foreign minister took to Twitter to “sympathise with the Iraqi people's protest for freedom and dignity”. “We condemn their repression and murder led by Qassem Soleimani and Iranian Revolutionary Guards”, he added. View More 3 November 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasised that “the most important thing is to make sure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons and that its march towards empire and conquest is stopped. I think that President Trump’s policy of putting maximum economic pressure on Iran is the right one, and I’m glad to see that it’s been increased recently, more sanctions”. “I know that it’s having a telling effect on Iran’s ability to fund its aggression”, Netanyahu added. He went on to say that “we are committed to preventing Iran from entrenching itself militarily in our borders, especially in Syria. And we take the necessary action to prevent that… because if Iran has its way, then the Middle East will collapse”. He went on to argue that “if Israel wasn’t here in the heart of the Middle East, then Iran would have won. And by [the] way, would have already had nuclear weapons”. View More 1 November 2019 The U.S. State Department in its Country Reports on Terrorism 2018 evaluated that “Hizbollah remained Iran’s most powerful terrorist partner and the most capable terrorist organisation in Lebanon, controlling areas across the country”. It went on to assess that “Iran’s annual financial backing to Hizbollah, an estimated $700 million per year, accounts for the overwhelming majority of the group’s annual budget. Hizbollah’s presence in Lebanon and Syria continued to pose a threat to Israel”. “Israeli security officials and politicians”, the report noted, “expressed concerns that Iran was supplying Hizbollah with advanced weapons systems and technologies, as well as assisting the group in creating infrastructure that would permit it to indigenously produce rockets and missiles to threaten Israel from Lebanon and Syria”. View More 31 October 2019 Hizbollah asserted that it had “confronted with the appropriate weapons an enemy drone in the skies of southern Lebanon and obliged it to leave the Lebanese airspace”. The Israeli military stated that “an anti-aircraft missile was launched over Lebanese territory towards an IDF UAV. The UAV was not hit”. View More 31 October 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “the area around us is stormy and restive. Threats lurk in every corner – in Syria, in Lebanon, in the Gaza Strip, as well as in Iraq, Yemen and directly in Iran. Where not? Iranian and pro-Iranian forces are relentlessly arming themselves”. He went on to assert that “we are prepared for the threats and will not hesitate to strike harshly at anyone who tries to attack us. Iran’s threshold of daring in the region is rising and it grows even more in the absence of a response. However, Israel will not turn the other cheek. Whoever is bent on aggression – will meet with a vigorous response, and will pay a heavy price”. View More 30 October 2019 A senior Israeli defence official assessed that “the security challenge is becoming more complex. In addition to the missiles and rockets, there are also attack drones and cruise missiles now”. He added that “as we speak, Arrow, Patriot, David's Sling, and Iron Dome batteries are ready for battle”. View More 28 October 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu contended that “Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. It’s transgressing on its agreement and commitment. Iran wants to develop precision guided missiles that can hit any target in Israel within five to ten meters. It’s doing that. Iran wants to use Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen as bases to attack Israel with statistical missiles and precision-guided missiles.” He went on to assert that “to ward off this danger… you have to be strong militarily. And to be strong militarily, we have to shift now money from the civilian areas to the military areas”. View More 28 October 2019 Speaking alongside U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Prime Minister Netanyahu argued that “Iran is seeking to develop now precision-guided munitions, missiles that can hit any target in the Middle East with a circumference of five to ten metres. They are developing this in Iran. They want to place them in Iraq and in Syria, and to convert Lebanon’s arsenal of 130,000 statistical rockets to precision-guided munitions. They seek also to develop that, and have already begun to put that in Yemen, with the goal of reaching Israel from there, too”. He further asserted that “Iran is the single greatest threat to stability and peace in the Middle East”, and urged Mnuchin “to put even more” sanctions on Iran. View More 24 October 2019 Israel’s military chief of staff assessed that “in the northern and southern arenas, the situation is tense and fragile and may deteriorate into conflict, despite the fact that our enemies are not interested in war. As a result, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] has been accelerating its preparation process in recent months”. View More 18 October 2019 U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo met with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem and discussed “all the efforts we’ve made to push back against the threat not only to Israel, but to the region and the world, from the Islamic Republic of Iran”. View More 10 October 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “the current focus of aggression in the Middle East is the Iranian regime in Tehran. Iran is striving to tighten its grip in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Gaza Strip”. “It is relentlessly arming itself”, Netanyahu continued. “It is equipping its proxies with dangerous weaponry. It is attacking freedom of navigation in international shipping lanes. It downed a large American UAV. It mounted a crude and unprecedented attack on Saudi oil fields. It has repeatedly crossed its threshold of brazenness… it has tried to attack us repeatedly; therefore, we must stand ready to defend ourselves against danger”. He further asserted that the Israeli military “is prepared to pre-empt any threat, defensively and offensively, with crushing strength, in weaponry and in spirit”. View More 10 October 2019 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that “Israel strongly condemns the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria and warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds by Turkey and its proxies”. He added that “Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the gallant Kurdish people”. View More 6 October 2019 Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced that “recently I have been promoting, with the backing of the prime minister, a diplomatic initiative to sign ‘non-aggression agreements’ with the Arab Gulf states… it’s a historic move that will end the conflict and enable civilian cooperation until the signing of peace agreements”. View More 3 October 2019 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked that “we face a huge security challenge, which is growing week to week and strengthening in the last month to two months... Anyone with eyes in their head sees that Iran is increasingly arming itself, Iran is growing stronger. Its boldness, its audacity are on the rise”. He went on to assert that Iran “says in the clearest way, that is what their generals said, including two days ago, ‘Israel will disappear. This is not a theory. Israel will disappear’... They believe this. They are striving for this, and we need to take them seriously”. Netanyahu added that “this reality obligates us to become stronger. It obligates us to arm ourselves, our fighters and our soldiers, with defensive and offensive weapons on a scale, at an intensity and quality we have not had until now”. View More 2 October 2019 IRGC Commander Hossein Salami declared that “any new war will lead to the total disappearance of this regime [Israel] from the world’s political geography”. He went on to say that “the evil regimes of the region also know that if they miscalculate the power of [Iran’s] establishment and revolution and [take] any unwise action, they will quickly be trapped on an uncontrollable and irreversible path of destruction”. View More 30 September 2019 Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, referring to a string of attacks against paramilitary facilities in the country, asserted that “some of the investigations carried out by Iraqi authorities provided important indications that Israel was behind some of these attacks”, though there was no “tangible evidence”. View More 30 September 2019 IRGC Commander Hossein Salami declared that Israel “must be wiped off from the world geography in the second step [of the Islamic Revolution], and this is not an aspiration or dream anymore, but an achievable goal”. Salami added that “we can strike the enemy with any magnitude, any intensity, any accuracy, and over any area”. View More 25 September 2019 President Rouhani posited that “we are not looking for war and killing others, but it is Israel that has repeatedly violated the sovereignty of its neighbours and, according to their own Prime Minister, they have carried out acts of aggression against Syria more than 200 times”. He added that “these acts are very dangerous and according to the UN Charter, the people of the region have the right to self-defence”. View More 24 September 2019 Referring to the 14 September attacks against Saudi energy facilities, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “very simply: Iran did it. A to Z”. He added that “Israel will know to defend itself against this type of aggression. And we call on all members of the international community to join President Trump's effort to increase the pressure on Iran. That's the only way to stop Iran's aggression”. View More 18 September 2019 President Trump announced that he had “instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase sanctions on the country of Iran”. Foreign Minister Zarif contended that the phrasing was an “admission that the U.S. is deliberately targeting ordinary citizens: economic terrorism, illegal and inhuman. Stop war and terror”. Prime Minister Netanyahu reacted by stating that “Iran’s aggression has increased of late, including in the Gulf, and this is precisely the time to increase pressure and sanctions”. View More 16 September 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that he and President Trump had “agreed to advance a historic defensive alliance between the U.S. and Israel at our upcoming meeting at the UN General Assembly”. “This is historic”, Netanyahu explained, “because it adds a powerful component of deterrence against our enemies, alongside maintaining the ability to act, and freedom of action, of our forces”. View More 16 September 2019 President Rouhani stated that Israel “has increased the number of its acts of aggression on the Syrian soil in recent months, and its officials have claimed responsibility for the aggressions and have extended their attacks to Iraq and Lebanon”. He further asserted that “these attacks are a clear example of provocative and illegal hostile acts that can cause widespread tension and conflict in the region”. View More 12 September 2019 Following a meeting with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “the first issue is security, and this is maintaining freedom of action for the IDF, including the air force, in the face of Iran’s attempts to military entrench in our region against us. We are operating constantly and is important to prevent unnecessary collisions”. Netanyahu subsequently met with President Putin, remarking that “security coordination between us is always important but it is especially important at this time because last month saw a very serious upsurge in the number of attempts by Iran to attack Israel from Syrian territory, and also to place precision missiles there against us”. “From our point-of-view”, Netanyahu continued, “this is an intolerable threat and we are taking action; therefore, we must also ensure that the coordination between us prevents friction”. View More 12 September 2019 En route to a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “at this time, we are operating on several fronts, 360 degrees, in order to ensure the security of Israel in the face of the attempts of Iran and its proxies to attack us, and we are working against them. The Syrian arena is the main one… it is important that we continue to maintain freedom of action for the IDF, including the air force, against Iranian, Hizbollah and other terrorist targets”. Netanyahu added that “this trip is designed to continue this important cooperation, which prevents collisions between us and the Russian forces, and to continue to advance the common goal that we agree on, which has yet to be achieved and which is far from being achieved, and that is the withdrawal of Iran from Syria”. View More 10 September 2019 Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah contended that “we reject any war plans against the Iranian republic, because such a war will ignite the region and destroy countries and peoples. It will be a war against the entire axis of resistance”. He went on to say that “this supposed war will be the end of Israel and the American hegemony and presence in the region”. View More 9 September 2019 The Israeli military announced that “a number of rockets were fired from Syria toward Israel overnight, all failing to hit Israeli territory”. It further asserted that “the rockets were launched by Shiite militias operating under the command of the Iranian Quds force. We hold the Syrian regime responsible for events taking place in Syria”. View More 9 September 2019 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed what he claimed was “another secret nuclear site… exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran”. “In this site”, Netanyahu contended, “Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons”, adding that “when Iran realised that we uncovered the site… they destroyed the site. They just wiped it out”. He went on to warn Iran that “Israel knows what you’re doing, Israel knows when you’re doing it and Israel knows where you’re doing it. We will continue to expose your lies”. “The only way to stop Iran’s march to the bomb, and its aggression in the region”, Netanyahu concluded, “is pressure, pressure and more pressure”. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter to say that “the possessor of real nukes cries wolf – on an alleged ‘demolished’ site in Iran”. View More 9 September 2019 Hizbollah announced it had shot down an Israeli drone in Lebanese airspace and retrieved the debris; the IDF acknowledged losing a drone but disputed Hizbollah’s claim of downing it. View More 6 September 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “I had an important meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defence Esper. We discussed the entire region from Iran, to Syria, Lebanon, Hizbollah and the various challenges and attacks against us, actions we took to thwart them, coordination we are called upon to make especially regarding Syria”. View More 5 September 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “this morning we were informed of another violation, more defiance, by Iran, this time in its striving to attain nuclear weapons. This joins Iran’s aggressive acts against international shipping and against countries in the region, as well as its efforts to carry out murderous attacks against the State of Israel, efforts that have not ceased”. He further asserted that “this is not the time to hold talks with Iran; this is the time to increase the pressure on Iran”. View More 3 September 2019 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu commended “remarks by the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the UAE against Hizbollah’s aggression”, and praised the U.S. for imposing sanctions against “the bank that provides Hizbollah with most of its funds”. He further remarked that “I defined three main goals for the IDF and the security arms in the following order: First of all, to stop and prevent the Iranian nuclear project. Second, to prevent Iran from supplying our enemies and its proxies, such as Hizbollah and others, with precision weapons that endanger us. And third, to prevent Iran and its proxies from entrenching on our borders”. Netanyahu added that “in effect, we are acting vis-à-vis all of these goals, in part openly and a considerable part covertly. We are determined to maintain the security of Israel”. View More 3 September 2019 The Israeli military published imagery of an alleged Hizbollah site in the Beqaa within which, it posited, “is Iranian-supplied machinery used to manufacture precision-guided missiles”. View More 2 September 2019 One day after the Israeli military and Hizbollah exchanged fire, Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “we acted yesterday with determination and responsibility. We maintained the security of our citizens and the safety of our soldiers. The man in the bunker in Beirut [i.e. Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah] knows exactly why he is in a bunker”. Netanyahu added that “we will continue to do everything necessary in order to maintain the security of Israel – on land and sea, and in the air, and we will continue to act against the threat of precision-guided missiles”. In remarks the same day, Nasrallah contended that “we’ve punished the enemy” and suggested “the start of a new stage of the situation at the border”. He went on to say that “we have a new target, which is the Israeli drones… we will confront these drones in the Lebanese skies”. Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson condemned what he described as Israel’s “blatant breach” of Lebanese sovereignty. View More 31 August 2019 President Rouhani spoke by phone with his French counterpart and asserted that “if Europe cannot put its commitments into operation, Iran will take the third step in reducing its JCPOA commitments, which of course will be reversible”. He additionally underscored “that the continuation of negotiations for settling problems is the right decision and we need to continue along this path until we reach a desired point”. Rouhani also told Macron that “the leaders of the Zionist regime [i.e. Israel] have made countless miscalculations towards other countries like Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, and they are announcing their acts of aggression proudly instead of apologising”. View More 30 August 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu told French President Macron that “Israel would defend itself against aggression against it and prevent its enemies who seek its destruction from arming themselves with lethal weaponry”. He further noted that “those who provide shelter for aggression and arming will not be immune. Netanyahu also advised Macron that “the present – when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region – is precisely the wrong time to talk with Iran”. View More 30 August 2019 Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri reportedly told the UN Secretary-General “that Israel is fully responsible of its unjustified attack on a populated residential area in the Beirut suburbs, unprecedented since 2006”. He further asserted that “this unacceptable act threatens the stability and calm that have been prevailing on the international borders for 13 years and warned that any escalation by Israel threatens to drag the region into a conflict with unpredictable consequences”. View More 29 August 2019 The Israeli military published the names and photos of three individuals whom it said where “Iranian commanders… working on a secret project with Hizbollah to manufacture precision-guided missiles to attack Israel”. Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “we will not stand to the side and allow our enemies to acquire deadly weapons to use against us. This week, I already told our enemies to be careful with their actions. Now I am telling them: Dir balak [watch out]”. View More 29 August 2019 In a statement, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry announced that it “rejects and condemns the Bahraini Foreign Minister’s tweet about the recent attacks on Arab territories and the Popular Mobilisation Forces by Zionist enemy [i.e. Israel] under the pretext of self-defence”. View More 29 August 2019 Secretary of State Pompeo underscored that the Trump administration has been “incredibly supportive [of Israel]. Each time Israel has been forced to take actions to defend itself, the U.S. has made very clear that that country has not only the right but the duty to protect its own people. And we are always supportive of their efforts to do that”. Pompeo added that “we’re constantly… making sure that we collectively have defence systems capabilities that are appropriate for their needs”. View More 29 August 2019 The Treasury Department announced sanctions against “financial facilitators responsible for moving tens of millions of dollars between Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force and Hamas’ operational arm”. In a press statement, Secretary of State Pompeo indicated that “today’s designation reflects our determination to counter Iran’s malign influence and the financial, material, or technological support, or financial or other services to or in support of Hamas”. The Treasury Department also sanctioned Jammal Trust Bank in Lebanon, along with its subsidiaries, asserting that it “knowingly facilitates banking activities for Hizbollah”. Secretary Pompeo said the bank’s “misconduct undermines the integrity of the Lebanese financial system”, adding that “today’s designation deflects our determination to counter Hizbollah’s terrorist and illicit activities in Lebanon”. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu praised “the important decision to impose sanctions on a Lebanese bank that serves as an Iranian financing arm for the Hizbollah terrorist organisation. This is an important step designed to put pressure on Iran and its proxies, which are acting against the State of Israel”. View More 27 August 2019 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “I heard [Hizbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah’s remarks. I suggest that Nasrallah relax. He knows very well that the State of Israel knows how to defend itself and how to pay back its enemies”. Netanyahu continued by saying that “I want to tell him and the Lebanese state, which is sheltering this organisation that aspires to destroy us, and I also say this to [Qods force commander] Qassem Soleimani: Be careful with your words and be even more careful with your actions”. View More 26 August 2019 Iraq’s president, prime minister and parliamentary speaker met with Hashd officials in Baghdad. A statement from President Barham Salih’s office indicated that the participants “discussed the recent attack against PMF forces… [and] those in attendance agreed that these attacks are blatant, hostile acts aimed at undermining a strong and capable Iraqi government”. View More 26 August 2019 Lebanese media claimed that Israel “last night executed three air raids that targeted the anti-Lebanon region… in central Bekaa, where military outposts for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine under the command of Ahmed Jebril are located”. View More 26 August 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “Iran is operating on a broad front to carry out murderous terrorist attacks against the State of Israel. Israel will continue to defend its security however that may be necessary”. He also urged “the international community to act immediately so that Iran halts these attacks”. View More 25 August 2019 Iraqi paramilitary forces announced that two members of the Hizbollah Brigades had been killed in a drone attack near the Iraq-Syria border. View More 25 August 2019 U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed Israel’s 24 August strikes in Syria, with Pompeo extending “support for Israel’s right to defend itself from threats posed by the IRGC and to take action to prevent imminent attacks against Israeli assets in the region”. The two also “discussed how Iran is leveraging its foothold in Syria to threaten Israel and its neighbours”, while Netanyahu “noted that Israel would strike IRGC targets threatening Israel, wherever they are located”. View More 25 August 2019 The Lebanese military stated that “two Israeli enemy drones violated Lebanese airspace… the first drone crashed and the second drone exploded in the air causing material damages”. Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel that a response “may take place at any time on the borders and beyond the borders”. View More 24 August 2019 The Israeli military announced that it had “prevented a pending, large-scale attack of multiple killer drones on Israel by striking Iranian Quds force operatives and Shiite militia targets in Syria”. Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “Iran’s Quds force dispatched a special unit of Shiite militants to Syria in order to kill Israelis on the Golan Heights with explosives-laden UAVs… this was an initiative of Iran, under the command of Iran, at the behest of Iran”. He went on indicate that “henceforth we will expose any attempt by Iran to attack us and any Iranian effort to hide behind this or that excuse”. “I would like to stress that we will not tolerate aggression against Israel from any country in the region”, Netanyahu added. “any country that allows its territory to be used to aggression against Israel will face the consequences”. View More 23 August 2019 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated that “I don’t grant Iran immunity anywhere. Iran is a state, a power, that has sworn to annihilate Israel. It’s trying to establish bases against us everywhere. In Iran itself, in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen”. Netanyahu went on to say that “we’re acting not only if necessary, we’re acting in very many theatres against a state that seeks to annihilate us. Obviously I’ve given the security forces the order and the operation freedom to do what is necessary in order to disrupt these plots by Iran”. View More 19 August 2019 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that “Iran has no immunity, anywhere… we will act – and currently are acting – against them, wherever it is necessary”. View More 16 August 2019 Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah stated that “I tell the Israeli enemy that if you enter the south [of Lebanon]… your army will be defeated and your vehicles will be destroyed”. He further contended that “today Israel doesn’t consider waging a war on Lebanon because it is aware of its power of deterrence and because it is aware that any war on Lebanon would not only be against Hizbollah but it would explode the whole region”. “A war on Iran is a war on the resistance in the whole region”, Nasrallah added. The following day Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “we are not impressed by Nasrallah's threats. He knows very well why he broadcasts them from the depths of his bunker”. View More 15 August 2019 Syrian state media reported that “Syrian air defences intercepted a hostile target coming from [the] north of Lebanon, and destroyed it before reaching its target” in Hama province. View More 10 August 2019 Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei asserted that “the stratagem of the ‘Deal of the Century’ prepared by the oppressive U.S., and its treasonous cohorts, is a crime against the society of humankind, and not just the Palestinian nation”. He further called “everyone to active participation in overcoming this stratagem by the enemy”. Secretary of State Pompeo hit back at what he described as Khamenei’s “faux concern for the Palestinian people”, adding that “it’s sick that on the eve of Tisha B’av – a solemn day for the Jewish people – Khamenei calls for violence against the Jewish state”. “Khamenei doesn’t see ‘progress’ as prosperity for the Palestinian people”, Pompeo continued, “but Palestinian terrorists switching from rocks to rockets to kill more Jews. The Iranian people don’t want this; they deserve leadership behaviours that reflect their greatness”. View More 9 August 2019 Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson called Israel’s involvement in a U.S.-led maritime security initiative “a clear threat to Iran's national security”, and asserted that “Iran reserves the right to counter this threat within the framework of the country's defence policy”. “Responsibility for all the consequences of this dangerous act would lie with the American regime and the illegitimate Zionist regime”, he added. View More 8 August 2019 IRGC Commander Hossein Salami remarked that “a power… has been shaped in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere, and the enemy is mindful that any new war may pose a full-blown threat against the Zionist regime [i.e. Israel] and put it in the path to an irreversible collapse”. Salami went on to content that “a number of U.S. allies in the region were encouraging the U.S. to wage a war [on Iran], but they realized that a war with Iran would threaten their political systems, so they remained silent”. He added that “I am confident that today, the Zionists and regional allies are not interested in a war, because they know that the geography of such war would be broad, and they know the result”. View More 7 August 2019 Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz reportedly indicated that “Israel was assisting the [U.S. maritime security] mission with intelligence and other unspecified fields”. View More 5 August 2019 Israel’s UN envoy, Danny Danon, posited that “Hamas officials just left Tehran with reportedly an increase to $30 million per month in support. Despite lacking food or medicine, Iran/Hamas evidently have plenty of money for terror”. Dannon added that “Israel is determined to act against all branches of Iran’s terror operations”. View More 1 August 2019 Syrian state media reported that Israel had “launched an assault with a rocket… in the western countryside of Quneitra province, causing material damage only”. Relatedly, Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “on the northern front we are acting against Iran and Hizbollah and you are hearing about this these days as well. This is the iron wall”. View More 30 July 2019 Unconfirmed media reports claimed that Israel had on 19 July and 28 July struck Iran-linked facilities in Iraq. View More 24 July 2019 Syrian state media reported that Israel had launched strikes in south-western Syria; no casualties was reported. View More 23 July 2019 Prime Minster Netanyahu asserted that "we are prepared to embark on a campaign, an extensive military operation to strike at Hamas and Islamic Jihad, a military strike such as they have not yet received”. He further stated that “I cannot go into details but those who are involved in these preparations, who are sitting here today, know very well that these are not mere words”. View More 23 July 2019 At a meeting with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Prime Minster Netanyahu asserted that U.S. “sanctions have begun to work, and it’s important that they continue to work”. “It’s important to keep up the pressure”, Netanyahu added. “If I had to say what are the three things that we have to do in the face of Iranian aggression, it is pressure, pressure and more pressure to force Iran to abandon its nuclear and regional ambitions”. He went on to state that “we cannot allow Iran to disrupt the flow of oil in international waters, and again, I think the first requirement is the application of still greater pressure on Iran. I would not show any hesitation. I’m a leader who’s shown judicious use of force, and I think in this case, the judicious use of pressure is what is required”. View More 23 July 2019 Prime Minister Netahyahu contended that “without Israel, without the things that we do and the things that we stand for and the things that we protect, I think the entire Middle East would collapse to the forces of Islamic radicalism, whether Shiite led by Iran or Sunni radicalism led by ISIS”. View More 22 July 2019 Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei met with a delegation of senior Hamas officials in Tehran. View More 18 July 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “In Operation Northern Shield, we neutralised the terrorist tunnels that Hizbollah had dug into our territory over the years. I do not want to expand here on the other actions that we are taking. The surprise will come in its time. We do not rejoice in war, but if it is forced on us we will strike the enemy decisively”. Netanyahu added that “we are working without respite to thwart Iran’s efforts to channel funds and weapons to Hizbollah…without the Iranian oxygen pipeline, Hizbollah could not exist for very long.”. He went on to say that “if we have to stand alone against Iran and its proxies – we will do so. Thus we have acted in Syria in order to prevent Iranian forces from entrenching themselves there. We will not allow a second Lebanon in Syria”. “The principle that has guided my government is simple”, Netanyahu asserted. “Whoever rises up to kill you, prevent him from arming himself, especially with advanced, equilibrium-changing weapons”. View More 17 July 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu told a visiting French delegation that “it's very important that France and the rest of Europe… declare Hizbollah as a terrorist group. It's the major terrorist organization in the Middle East and in the world, and it's operating terrorists on European soil”. View More 11 July 2019 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with President Trump about “regional developments and security issues especially Iran”. Netanyahu welcomed “President Trump’s intention to increase the sanctions on Iran”. View More 9 July 2019 Speaking against the backdrop of an F-35 during a visit to a military base, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “recently, Iran has been threatening the destruction of Israel. It would do well to remember that these planes can reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran and certainly Syria”. Speaking a few days later, Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami warned that "enemies’ aggression against Iran’s territorial integrity, at any level, will receive a severe response”. View More 8 July 2019 At the Christians United For Israel summit, Secretary of State Pompeo remarked that “we’ve implemented the strongest pressure campaign in history against the Iranian regime, and we are not done. We’ve cut off billions in funds that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s leadership would have used for various nefarious purposes, not the least of which would have been their efforts to destroy the state of Israel”. Pompeo added that “it is also the case that under President Trump, the Israel haters such as Hamas and Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad receive far less blood money from Iran to pursue their terrorism than ever in recent history”. National Security Advisor John Bolton also stated that “ we will continue to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime until it abandons its nuclear weapons program and ends its violent activities across the Middle East, including conducting and supporting terrorism around the world”. View More 8 July 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke by phone with his Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussing “Iran, Syria and bilateral relations”. View More 8 July 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “the [2015 nuclear] deal was always based on a lie: that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons… in fact, it failed to solve the one problem it was supposed to solve. Now, it made other problems worse by removing sanctions on Iran, thereby helping Iran fuel its war machine in the region”. He added that “it’s so important that President Trump decided boldly to leave this bad deal, and he decided to restore sanctions… now Iran is trying to lash out to reduce the pressure. They attack tankers, they down American drones, they’re firing missiles at their neighbours. It’s important to respond to these actions not by reducing the pressure, but by increasing the pressure”. Netanyahu also asserted that “we should stand up to Iran’s aggression now. And Europe should back the sanctions instituted by President Trump. We certainly did”. View More 7 July 2019 After Iran announced it would exceed uranium enrichment levels set in the 2015 nuclear agreement, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “Iran has violated its solemn promise under the UN Security Council not to enrich uranium beyond a certain level. The enrichment of uranium is made for one reason and one reason only: It’s for the creation of atomic bombs”. “The leaders of the P5+1 promised and committed themselves to snap back sanctions the minute Iran did that”, Netanyahu continued. “It just did. Where are you?” View More 2 July 2019 Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz remarked that “Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, even if has to act alone on that.” He added warned that “mistakes [by Iran] in the grey area will lead it to the red zone – a war in which it will be hit hard”. Katz also contended that “feeding the Iranian tiger will not help; only an aggressive policy and sanctions and support for the U.S. policy will quickly show that it is a paper tiger”. View More 1 July 2019 After Iran announced that it had exceeded a JCPOA limit on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “Iran is taking a significant step toward producing nuclear weapons”. Netanyahu further promised that “soon will be revealed additional proofs that Iran has been lying this whole time”. He went on to pledge that “Israel will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons”, and urged European countries to implement UN sanctions against Iran. View More 1 July 2019 The head of Israel’s foreign intelligence service declared that “we can’t agree to Syria becoming a staging ground for Iranian forces or forces operated by it against us. We can’t agree to Syria becoming a logistics base for transferring weapons to Hizbollah and Lebanon. Israel has taken action in the past four years, overtly and covertly, about which only a small amount has been published, in order to block the entrenchment and the production lines of precision-guided munitions”. The Mossad chief added that “thanks to this effort, I believe the Iranians will reach the conclusion that it’s not worth it for them”. He also indicated that “Iran and Hizbollah are asking to move their bases to northern Syria, an area that they mistakenly believe will be difficult for us to reach. In addition, they are establishing bases and precision missile facilities in Iraq… and Lebanon”. View More 1 July 2019 The head of Israel’s foreign intelligence service blamed Iran for the tanker incidents in the Gulf of Oman and an attack on the Bahrain’s embassy in Iraq, contending that “with certainty, based on the best sources of both Israeli and Western espionage… Iran is behind these attacks. They were approved by Iranian leadership and carried out, in large part, by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxies”. View More 1 July 2019 Syrian state media reported that Israel struck military targets in Homs and near Damascus, killing four and injuring 21. View More 28 June 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “the Iranian regime is suffering. It's trying to use its proxies to 'pin prick' in the Persian Gulf, and escalate the situation in Syria. We have to resist”. He went on to say that “we know something about this region. Iran single greatest threat on the horizon, they must not be allowed to get nuclear weapons. Going back to the JCPOA means giving Iran nuclear weapons. I will not let that happen”. View More 25 June 2019 At a trilateral meeting of U.S., Russian and Israeli National Security advisers, Prime Minister Netanyahu, remarked that “Israel has acted hundreds of times to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, while it actively and openly calls and works for our destruction. We have acted hundreds of times to prevent Iran from delivering increasingly sophisticated weaponry to Hizbollah, or to form a second front in the north against us from the Golan Heights”. He added that “Israel will continue to prevent Iran from using neighbouring territory as platforms to attack us, and Israel will respond forcefully to any such attacks”. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that “it is not a question about a disagreement about the outcome, but a mutual effort to find a way to make it happen”. View More 24 June 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed that “Israel will not allow Iran, which calls for our destruction, to entrench on our border; we will do everything to prevent it from attaining nuclear weapons”. View More 23 June 2019 In Israel, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that "neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness". He also indicated that in meetings with senior Israel officials “we reaffirmed our shared priority of confronting Iranian aggression throughout the region by continuing maximum economic pressure and increasing the cost of Iran’s malign activity”. Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “thanks to crippling American sanctions, Iran is facing unprecedented economic pressure as a result of its aggression”, adding that “I was pleased to hear President Trump make clear yesterday that pressure will continue and that pressure will increase”. View More 20 June 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that “in the last 24 hours, Iran has intensified its aggression against the U.S. and against all of us. I repeat my call for all peace-loving countries to stand by the U.S. in its effort to stop Iranians’ aggression. Israel stands by the United States on this”. View More 19 June 2019 At a military exercise, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned that “I hear our neighbours from the north, south and east threatening our destruction. I say to our enemies: The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] has very great destructive power. Don’t test us.” View More 17 June 2019 After Iran indicated that it was days away from exceeding JCPOA limits on enriched uranium, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that “should Iran deliver on its current threats, and violate the nuclear deal, the international community will have to implement, immediately, the pre-set sanctions mechanism ... in any event, Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weaponry”. View More 12 June 2019 According to the Israeli military, a drone entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon and subsequently withdrew back behind the frontier. View More 12 June 2019 Syria state media reported that the military "confronted an Israeli missile aggression" near the Golan Heights. Later in the day, Prime Minister Netanyahu contended that "the chain of tests that we are dealing with is unending. We respond vigorously and with force to all attacks against us; however, we do not take action only after the fact. We deny the enemy's capabilities before the fact". Netanyahu added that "we are acting methodically and consistently to prevent our enemies from establishing offensive bases against us in our vicinity". View More 11 June 2019 A senior Israeli military official maintained that "Hizbollah's loyalty was and remains to the Supreme Leader of Iran, not to the citizens of Lebanon. As a direct result of this, the nation of Lebanon will pay a heavy price in the next campaign for cooperating with Shiite terror". He went to pledge that "Israel will not allow [Hizbollah] to fulfill its plans and the destructive ambitions that it and its patron Iran have... we will continue to thwart Hizbollah's efforts to threaten our security both overtly and covertly, as necessary. And if a war is forced upon [us], we will exact a heavy price from this organisation and from those who provide it cover - wherever is necessary". View More 10 June 2019 Responding to comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who earlier in the day contended that Prime Minister "Netanyahu has said that they will destroy Iran", Netanyahu riposted that "Zarif is lying - again. Iran is the one that openly threatens, every day, to destroy the State of Israel. Iran continues to entrench itself militarily in Syria. And today, the IAEA reports that Iran is accelerating its nuclear program". "I repeat", Netanyahu added, "Israel will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons that threaten our existence and endanger the entire world". View More 7 June 2019 In a conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was travelling to Tehran the following week, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed "that pressure on Iran must continue in order to block its aggression in the region". View More 6 June 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that "it's very clear Iran is lying. Iran is continuing to work towards an arsenal of nuclear bombs, and we're committed to stop it". View More 5 June 2019 Following reports that Israel provided intelligence purportedly implicating Iran in the 12 May tanker attacks, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif maintained that "Mossad is fabricating intelligence... I've warned of 'accidents' and false flags - we know what happens when you believe their lies". View More 5 June 2019 A senior Israeli defence official assessed that "Iran is under growing pressure that is forcing it to take actions connected to oil and its nuclear project - though for now there are no changes to its policies". Referring to Hizbollah, he indicated that "to the best of our understanding, their capabilities, their missiles, are still not precise". View More 3 June 2019 U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo remarked that President Trump "has made very clear that that's important to this administration to have that important political, economic and security relationship with Israel. And we've struggled more with respect to the Palestinians. We've watched their terror activity in the Gaza Strip, and we've pushed back against it. We've watched Iran underwrite some of that, and we've pushed back against that". View More 2 June 2019 Syrian media reported "an Israeli aggression on the T-4 airport" that led to three casualties as well as "damage to an ammo depot and material damage to some structures and equipment". View More 2 June 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that "Iran transfers $700 million to Hizbollah per annum", part of which "is transferred under diplomatic cover, by seemingly innocent means, to Lebanon and from there to Hizbollah". "These enormous amounts fuel the relentless aggression by Iran and its proxies in the region", Netanyahu continued. He added that "while we do not make light of Iran's threats, neither are we deterred by them because anyone who tries to hurt us will be hurt far worse... we proved it just last night". View More 2 June 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu claimed that the day before, “two missiles were fired toward Israel from Syrian territory. One struck inside Syria and the other hit our territory on the Golan Heights… I ordered the IDF to take strong action, which it did, striking several targets”. “We will respond with great force to any aggression against us”, he promised. View More 30 May 2019 The leader of the Gaza political bureau of Hamas, Yahya Sinwar, reportedly indicated that “Iran provided us with rockets… had it not been for Iran, the resistance in Palestine would not have possessed its current capabilities”. View More 29 May 2019 The Israeli military published video footage of a Hizbollah tunnel, noting that it was “the longest and most significant” of the other five that they had found since January 2019. View More 27 May 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “the Syria army attempted to hit an Israeli plane; it did not succeed. In response the air force destroyed the launcher that fired on the plane”. Netanyahu went on to affirm that “our policy is clear: we will not tolerate any aggression against us, and we will respond forcefully”. View More 27 May 2019 Syrian state media claimed that Israel had targeted a military site in Quneitra, adding that the “aggression claimed the life of one soldier and injured another one”. View More 22 May 2019 In remarks at the celebration of Israel’s 71st Independence Day, Secretary Pompeo noted that the U.S. had supported Israel’s security "by applying maximum pressure against the single greatest threat to stability and security in the Middle East, and indeed, stability and security in Israel – the Islamic Republic of Iran". The Israeli envoy in Washington, Ron Dermer, argued that the U.S. exit from the JCPOA in May 2018 constituted “the most important decision affecting Israel’s future that the Trump administration made this past year”. “A year ago, an Iranian regime that vows and works to destroy Israel felt the wind at their backs and believed history was on their side”, Dermer remarked. “Today, that same evil regime faces hurricane force headwinds and fear falling into history’s dustbin”. He went on to thank the U.S. government “for rejecting the path of appeasement, standing up to Iran’s aggression and terror, and confronting the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet”. View More 18 May 2019 Syrian state media reported that the military's "aerial defences intercepted unidentified objects" inbound from Israel. View More 17 May 2019 Syrian state media reported that the military had "intercepted hostile targets coming from the direction of Quneitra." View More 14 May 2019 In an article on the March 2019 U.S. decision to recognise Israel's sovereignty in the Golan Heights, Secretary Pompeo argued that Syria "is a client of Iran and one of the most brutal regimes on earth", adding that "if Israel doesn't maintain control of the Golan, Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terror, or one of its proxies, will gain the strategic high ground". View More 14 May 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that "there is a new efflorescence, a new renaissance of relations between us and many of our Arab neighbours, and many non-Arab Muslim countries. We are united in our desire to stop Iranian aggression". "Israel and all the countries of the region and all the countries who seek peace in the world should stand together with the U.S. against Iranian aggression", Netanyahu added. View More 12 May 2019 Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz posited that "things are undoubtedly heating up, and Iran - over the last few weeks - has come under 'atomic' pressure. The economic sanctions are breaking the neck of the Iranian economy and there is now an additional, even more powerful wave of American sanctions. We are starting to see the Iranians lose their balance". Steinitz also assessed that "if there is some sort of conflagration between Iran and the U.S., between Iran and its neighbours, I'm not ruling out that they will activate Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad from Gaza, or even that they will try to fire missiles from Iran at the State of Israel". View More 8 May 2019 In comments after Iran announced it would curb its compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that "this morning... I heard that Iran intends to pursue its nuclear program. We will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weaponry. We will continue to fight those who would kill us". View More 5 May 2019 Amidst an escalation between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, the IDF announced that it had targeted an individual whom it claimed was "responsible for transferring Iranian funds to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, helping fund their rocket fire at Israelis". View More 1 May 2019 In a speech on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that "in the face of Iran, our policy is clear: in the military field - an aggressive containment of Iran's attempts to establish itself militarily near our borders. And in the political arena - pressure, pressure and more pressure". "In the face of threats of annihilation", Netanyahu continued, "Israel will not extend its neck to slaughter... we are capable and determined to defend ourselves, by ourselves". View More 22 April 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that the U.S. decision to end oil waivers "is of great importance in increasing the pressure on the Iranian terrorist regime". He added that "we stand alongside the determination of the U.S. against the Iranian aggression and this is the right way to stop it". View More 18 April 2019 A senior Israeli military official assessed that "Hizbollah still has plans to invade the Galilee", and predicted that "we will thwart those plans". He also indicated that "in the area referred to as 'southern Syria', our operations have been very effective, and they have actually pushed the Iranians out... in those places, Iran's presence is so weak it's almost nonexistent". View More 15 April 2019 As the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation against the IRGC came into effect, Israel's foreign ministry posited that the force "controls 50 per cent of Iran's economy to fund terror". View More 14 April 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that "we are determined to defend our land - even in the face of our greatest and bitterest of foes, who inscribe our destruction on their banners". "We will continue to act on all fronts", he added, "including in the north, because we are not prepared to allow anybody to entrench in strength and endanger the State of Israel". View More 13 April 2019 Citing military sources, Syrian state media reported that "warplanes of the Israeli enemy conducted an airstrike from Lebanese airspace on one of the military positions" in Hama province. The report acknowledged three casualties as well as "the destruction of some buildings". View More 10 April 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu's office confirmed that President Trump had been in touch "to congratulate [Netanyahu] on his election victory", further noting that Netanyahu had thanked Trump for "the strong stand against the Iranian regime, including the President's recent decision against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards". View More 8 April 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the U.S. decision to list the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), adding thanks in his Hebrew-language Twitter account to President Trump for "responding to another important request of mine". View More 1 April 2019 Unnamed U.S. sources revealed that during Secretary Pompeo's visit to Israel in March, Prime Minister Netanyahu shared intelligence indicating "that Hizbollah and Iran have set up a new covert factory for precision missiles on Lebanese soil". Pomepo had, during his subsequent stay in Beirut, conveyed these findings to the Lebanese government. View More 28 March 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that "we are operating on several fronts simultaneously. Not far from here are the Golan Heights, our sovereignty over which was recognised by President Trump three days ago... beyond the Golan Heights is Syria, and also Iran. Iran is constantly trying to bring precision long-range missiles, which are very advanced and very lethal, into Syria". "We are not prepared to accept this", Netanyahu continued, "and our activity against Iran's attempt to entrench militarily in Syria, to bring in advanced weaponry, is continuing all the time". View More 27 March 2019 Syrian state media reported "an Israeli air aggression" in Aleppo, claiming that "army air defences... downed a number of the hostile missiles". View More 26 March 2019 In remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Prime Minister Netanyahu praised President Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, asserting that Trump "made history" while underscoring that the Golan "is indispensable for our defence". Netanyahu went on to declare that "I have a message to all the anti-Semites out there - whether they live in modern Persia, in the palaces of Tehran or the bunkers of Beirut... the Jewish people do not bow down. We stand up. We fight. And we win". View More 25 March 2019 In remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Secretary Pompeo stated that "the Trump administration and my team at the State Department is confronting the world's number one proponent of anti-Semitism, the Islamic Republic of Iran... we're enacted the strongest pressure campaign in history against Iran and its proxies, and they are feeling the pain". "Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah's terrorist-in-chief, recently begged for contributions from the very people in Lebanon that he and his Iranian masters have subjugated and terrorised", Pompeo added. "Hassan Nasrallah passing the tin cup around is good news". View More 25 March 2019 Meeting with President Trump at the White House, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that "I have a simple message to Israel's enemies: We will do whatever we must do to defend our people and defend our state". Netanyahu also hailed President Trump's decision to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, stating that the "proclamation comes at a time when the Golan is more important than ever for our security, when Iran is trying to establish bases in Syria to strike at Israel. From across the border in Syria, Iran has launched drones into our airspace, missiles into our territory". View More 25 March 2019 President Trump issued a Proclamation on Recognizing the Golan Heights as Part of the State of Israel, which noted that "today, aggressive acts by Iran and terrorist groups, including Hizbollah, in southern Syria continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks on Israel". View More 23 March 2019 Israel welcomed 22 March U.S. sanctions against "31 Iranian individuals and entities... linked to Iran's nuclear proliferation-sensitive activities". In a statement, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed that "Iran continues to deceive the international community and lie to the world about its military nuclear program. The Iranian regime continues to conceal its capabilities and to strive for nuclear weapons". "Iran", Netanyahu added, "endangers the peace of the Middle East and the entire world and must be blocked". View More 21 March 2019 Responding to a reporter who asked whether "President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace", Secretary Pompeo opined that "I certainly believe that's possible". View More 21 March 2019 President Trump asserted that "after 52 years, it is time for the U.S. to fully recognise Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability!" In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that "President Trump has just made history... he did so at a time when Iran is trying to use Syria as a platform to attack and destroy Israel". "We're celebrating Purim, when 2500 years ago, other Persians, led by Haman, tried to destroy the Jewish people", he reflected. "They failed then; and today, 2500 years later, again Persians led by Khamenei are trying to destroy the Jewish people and the Jewish state. They're going to fail again". View More 20 March 2019 In an encounter with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Pompeo posited that "the ayatollahs have spent four decades spewing hatred, supporting terrorist violence and pursuing nuclear weapons for a war against a neighbour that wishes nothing more than to live in peace. The ayatollah [i.e Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei] has declared that the annihilation and destruction of Israel is his primary goal". "With such threats, a daily reality of Israeli life", Pompeo continued, "we maintain our unparalleled commitment to Israel's security and firmly support your right to defend yourself". View More 20 March 2019 Meeting with Secretary of State Pompeo in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu praised President Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA and the imposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran. "What we see is that this pressure is working", Netanyahu remarked. "We need to increase it. We need to expand it. And together, the U.S. and Israel are working in close coordination to roll back Iranian aggression in the region and around the world". "I think there are ways that will intensify the pressure even more", he added. Netanyahu went on to indicate that "we will continue to take action as needed against the attempts of Iran to entrench itself militarily with dangerous weapons in Syria. There is no limitation to our freedom of action, and we appreciate very much the fact that the U.S. backs up our actions as we do them". "You can imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan", he continued. "We would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It's time that the international community recognises Israel's stay in the Golan, the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the State of Israel". View More 19 March 2019 Following Prime Minister Netanyahu's 6 March remarks indicating the Israeli "navy will have a more important role in efforts to block" alleged Iranian sanctions-busting by sea, Iran's UN mission wrote to the Security Council warning that Tehran "will not hesitate to use its inherent right to self-defence in case of any hostile measure by the Israeli regime". View More 19 March 2019 An Iranian spokesperson rubbished suggestions that Tehran had hacked an Israeli election candidate's mobile phone, arguing that Israel and the U.S. were "seeking to maximise pressure on Iran because of their hostility, malice and [their goal] to promote Iranophobia". View More 17 March 2019 Ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo to Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that "I will discuss with him our efforts to thwart the military entrenchment of Iran in Syria and - above all - we will discuss the efforts to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons". View More 14 March 2019 Israeli intelligence assessed that Iran may have breached the personal communication of a leading opposition candidate in the April elections. View More 14 March 2019 After a tit-for-tat between Israel and Hamas, Secretary Pompeo tweeted that "once again, Israeli citizens are under attack from terrorists in Gaza, armed and financed by their puppet masters in Tehran". "We stand by our ally", Pompeo declared. "Israel has the right to protect its citizens". View More 13 March 2019 One week after Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that "Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions on it through covert smuggling of petroleum via the sea" and warned that Israel's "navy will have a more important role in efforts to block these Iranian actions", Iran's Defence Minister, Amir Hatami, stated that "if they [i.e Israel] have this intention, the issue will be considered as a measure of international insecurity and banditry". Hatami went on to say that "Iran enjoys the required capability to respond to this issue and if it happens, it will give a crushing response". View More 13 March 2019 The Israeli military revealed that "a senior operative in the Lebanon-based terrorist organisation Hizbollah has been operating a new terror cell in Syria". Purportedly dubbed the "Golan File" by Hizbollah, the IDF assessed that "the network is new and currently focused on becoming familiarised with the Golan Heights area. It is intended to eventually control teams of Syrian operatives who will launch attacks against Israel". Commenting on the intelligence, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that "I have a clear message for Iran and for Hizbollah: Israel knows what you're doing; Israel knows where you're doing it... we know a lot more". He added that Israel "will continue to use all means, overt and covert, to block Iran's efforts to use Syria, Lebanon and Gaza as forward bases for attacking Israel". Israel Foreign Ministry Twitter View More 12 March 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated that "we are continuing to take vigorous action against Iran's attempts to entrench militarily in Syria". View More 6 March 2019 Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that "Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions on it through covert smuggling of petroleum via the sea. As these attempts expand, the navy will have a more important role in efforts to block these Iranian actions". He went on to "call on the international community to halt, by any means, Iran's attempts to bypass the sanctions via the sea". View More 4 March 2019 The U.S. military "deployed a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD] system to Israel... as a demonstration of the U.S.' continued commitment to Israel's regional security". Prime Minister Netanyahu described the move as "additional testimony to the commitment of the U.S. to the security of Israel", and assessed that in combination "with our defensive systems we are even stronger in order to deal with near and distant threats from throughout the Middle East".