11 September 2023

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant presented what he described as evidence of Iran building an airport in Lebanon approximately 20km from the border with Israel, adding: “You can see the Iranian flag flying over the runways, from which the ayatollah regime plans to operate against the citizens of Israel… The land is Lebanese, the control is Iranian, and the target is Israel”. “If it comes to a conflict”, he warned, “Hizbollah and Lebanon will pay heavy and painful prices”. He further asserted that “Israel… will not allow the establishment of a second Hizbollah in the Syrian Golan Heights, and the use of Syrian soil as a springboard for the transfer of [advanced] weapons to Hizbollah”. Gallant also noted that Iran’s “ultimate goal is to create another front against Israel, along the Jordanian border… Iran is also behind the wave of terrorism in Judea and Samaria: funding, weaponry, and direction, with the aim of sowing destruction and terror”. Relatedly, the IDF chief of staff warned that “our enemies may be tempted to see an advantage in the multi-front threat to us. It is better for them to know that when Israel is threatened, it knows how to mobilise all its resources, put the differences aside – and attack”.

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