Flashpoint / Israel/Palestine 16 February 2020 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 16 February 2020 Prime Minister Netanyahu contended that “the greatest threat to the security of the countries of the Middle East and countries in the world, is the attempt by Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Israel will never let Iran acquire nuclear weapons”. Netanyahu went on to say that “we do not let Iran entrench itself militarily right in our backyard, in Syria. We resist that mightily. We take every action that is necessary to prevent that. And I believe we're succeeding. We have taken up arms against a foe that openly calls for Israel's liquidation. Obviously, we're not going to wait”. View More 13 February 2020 Syrian state media reported that “the army observed hostile missiles coming from over the occupied Syrian Golan… the army air defences intercepted and downed a number of them before they reach[ed] their targets”. The following day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked: “I don’t [know] what happened last night… maybe it was the Belgian air force”. View More 12 February 2020 The Lebanese military announced that it had fired at an Israeli drone that entered Lebanon’s airspace, prompting the craft to withdraw. View More 11 February 2020 Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett assessed that “for years on end, we have fought against the Iranian tentacles in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip, but we have not focused enough on weakening Iran itself. Now we are changing the paradigm, we are now engaged in a continued effort to weaken the Iranian octopus through economic, diplomatic and intelligence measures, as well as with military means and various other approaches”. Bennett further addressed Iran and stated: “you have no business being in Syria, and so long as you continue to build terrorist bases there, we will continue to hurt you even further”. View More 9 February 2020 Referring to Iran’s failed attempt to launch a satellite earlier in the day, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “I’ll tell you what else they’re failing at: in transferring weapons to Syria and Lebanon, because we are operating there all the time, including at this time”. View More 8 February 2020 Israel Defence Minister Naftali Bennett stated that “we are in a process of switching to hurting the head of the octopus – Iran’s power”. “I am not necessarily talking about a full-blown war with Iran tomorrow; it is more similar to the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the U.S., with the two regional powers Israel and Iran”. Bennett also posited that “we have intelligence superiority and aerial superiority” in Syria, and warned that “it is a bad place for Iran to be. Anything they bring there we will immediately strike... we will do more and more so that Syria becomes their Vietnam”. Bennett also indicated that in consultations with his U.S. counterpart “we sorted out the coordination exactly – they’re taking Iraq, and we’re taking Syria”. “We have significantly intensified, including this week, with very strong attacks against Iran, against the Iranian presence, against Iranian bases, against Iranian surface-to-air missiles, against Iranian fighters… in Syria”, he added. “It’s like a contiguous puzzle – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon. Imagine a water pipe, only the water is rockets and terrorism. If you take out a piece of the pipe, then you’ve broken up the contiguity and it dries up”. View More 6 February 2020 Syrian state media reported that the country’s “air defences… responded to an Israeli missile attack that targeted the vicinity of Damascus and the southern region, shooting down most of the missiles before reaching their targets”. A Russian military spokesperson subsequently argued that “the Israeli General Staff’s military air operations using passenger jets for cover or [for] blocking of retaliatory fire by Syria missile systems is becoming a typical trait of the Israel Air Force”, and indicated that an “Airbus-320 was escorted out of the danger zone”. Russia’s ambassador to Syria noted that “the Israeli raids are, of course, provocative and very dangerous for the situation in Syria... in addition to the clear violation of Syrian sovereignty and the real threat to the lives of innocent people, all of this increases the possibility of conflict over Syria and runs counter to efforts to achieve stability and a political settlement”. View More 5 February 2020 Reacting to the U.S. Peace to Prosperity plan, which he predicted would “certainly achieve no results”, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei remarked that “we… consider it to be our duty to support the Palestinian resistance groups. We are going to support them, as much as we can and with all the means at our disposal”. He also asserted that “the Palestinian nation, personages and organisations should force out the Zionists [ie, Israel] and the U.S. with their selfless Jihad. This is the only effective solution. All the Muslim world should also help and support the Palestinians”. View More 5 February 2020 Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held conversations with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas officials expressing Iran’s condemnation of the U.S. Peace to Prosperity plan. Zarif also spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, affirming that “Iran will defend the Palestinian people’s rights to determine their fate and to form a Palestinian government with Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital”. View More 4 February 2020 U.S. Secretary of Defense Esper met with his Israeli counterpart, Naftali Bennett, in Washington. According to the Pentagon, “the two discussed a broad range of defence-related issues to include regional threats, shared interests, and the importance of maintaining a strong military-to-military partnership moving forward”. Bennett indicated that he and Esper “spoke at length about the regional threats, Iranian aggression and its expulsion from Syria”, adding that he had “emphasised that the State of Israel will act firmly against Iran’s activities for the sake of Israel’s security and thanked him [ie, Esper] for U.S. support and assistance”. View More 1 February 2020 Iran’s IRGC Qods Force Commander Esmael Qhaani spoke with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officials following the release of the U.S. Peace to Prosperity plan. Qhaani maintained that the initiative was “doomed to fail”, adding that Iran “will stand with the Palestinian nation and the axis of resistance till the collapse of the U.S. and Zionism [ie, Israel]”. View More 28 January 2020 President Trump unveiled “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People”. Prime Minister Netanyahu told Trump that the initiative “strikes the right balance where others have failed… It’s a great plan for Israel. It’s a great plan for peace”. He also praised the president as “the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House”, going on to cite, inter alia, Trump’s moves “to stand up to Iran, to pull out of that dangerous Iran deal… to eliminate Qassem Soleimani”. President Rouhani called the U.S. initiative “abhorrent to all Muslims and freedom seekers in the world”. Saudi Arabia welcomed Trump’s efforts and urged “the start of direct peace negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, under the auspices of the U.S., and to resolve any disagreements with aspects of the plan through negotiations”. View More 23 January 2020 Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that “we have yet to see a unified and resolute stance against the most antisemitic regime on the planet – a regime that openly seeks to develop nuclear weapons and annihilate the one and only Jewish state”. He went on to praise the Trump administration “for confronting the tyrants of Tehran that subjugate their own people and threaten the peace and security of the entire world. They threaten the peace and security of everyone in the Middle East and everyone beyond”. Netanyahu further urged “all governments to join the vital effort of confronting Iran” and stated: “Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our state, defend our people and defend the Jewish future”. View More 21 January 2020 Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “after the Holocaust and the State of Israel was established, the attempts to destroy the Jewish people have not disappeared. Iran openly declares every day that it wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth”. He went on to state that “the lesson of Auschwitz is, one, stop bad things when they’re small, and Iran is a very bad thing. It’s not that small but it could get a lot bigger with nuclear weapons. And I think the first thing is [to] stop that”. View More 19 January 2020 The Israeli military announced that it had “started deploying highly-sophisticated technical infrastructure along Israel’s border with Lebanon. These sensors will identify and prevent underground construction of attack tunnels into Israel by the Hizbollah terror organisation in Lebanon”. View More 14 January 2020 The UK, France and Germany announced that “we have… been left with no choice, given Iran’s actions, but to register today our concerns that Iran is not meeting its commitments under the JCPOA and to refer this matter to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism, as set out in paragraph 36 of the JCPOA”. “We do this in good faith with the overarching objective of preserving the JCPOA and in the sincere hope of finding a way forward”, the E3 statement added, further maintaining that “our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran”. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif characterised the E3’s action as “baseless from a legal point of view and a strategic mistake from political point of view”, while President Rouhani cautioned the Europeans that “if you take the wrong step, it will be to your detriment. Choose the right path, which is returning to the JCPOA”. U.S. Treasury Secretary Munuchin indicated that “we look forward to working with them [ie, the E3] quickly and would expect that the UN sanctions will snap back into place”. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “we know exactly what is happening with the Iranian nuclear program. Iran thinks it can achieve nuclear weapons. I reiterate: Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons”. Netanyahu went on to “call on all Western countries to impose snapback sanctions at the UN now”. View More 12 January 2020 As demonstrators in Iran protested the government’s response to the 8 January shoot-down of a Ukrainian passenger plane, Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “Iran lied. Just as they lied about their secret nuclear program, they are lying now about the downing of the Ukrainian aircraft... They knew that it was an unintentional downing, but they lied intentionally. They deceived the entire world”. He went on to underscore that the demonstrators “deserve freedom, liberty and the ability to live in security and peace, all of which the regime denies them”. View More 12 January 2020 Prime Minister Netanyahu applauded “President Trump for imposing new and very harsh sanctions against [Iran]” and urged “Britain, France and Germany to join the American effort”. “They need to go to the Security Council, and there they need to activate the sanctions that have been decided upon”, Netanyahu added. He went on to affirm that “Israel will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons”. View More 6 January 2020 The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a security alert indicating that “out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning”. View More 6 January 2020 Referring to the killing by the U.S. of Iran’s Qods Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, a senior Israeli military official indicated that “we're watching from the sidelines… We need to look at assassinations such as this as part of a battle between Iran and the U.S. over Iraq's character”. View More 5 January 2020 Following the killing by the U.S. of Iran’s Qods Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that “Soleimani initiated, planned and carried out many terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East and beyond. President Trump is deserving of all esteem for taking determined, strong and quick action”. “Israel fully stands alongside the U.S. in the just struggle for security, peace and self-defence”, Netanyahu added. View More 3 January 2020 Following the killing by the U.S. of Iran’s Qods Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a statement asserting that “just as Israel has the right of self-defence, the U.S. has exactly the same right. Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people. He was planning more such attacks”. “President Trump deserves all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively”, the statement continued, adding that “Israel stands with the U.S. in its just struggle for peace, security and self-defence". View More 2 January 2020 The head of the IRGC's Qods force, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in a U.S. strike in Baghdad. The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that "at the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani”, adding that "Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region". Iran confirmed Soleimani’s death, and the IRGC said that four other Qods force members along with five Iraqis, notably including a senior Hashd official, were also killed in the operation. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei subsequently asserted that "enemies should bear in mind that the Islamic Republic of Iran will take tough revenge on criminals over the martyrdom of General Soleimani". View More 1 January 2020 In a call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary of State Pompeo expressed appreciation “ for Israel’s unwavering commitment to countering Iran’s malign regional influence and its condemnation of the December 31 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad”. In remarks the following day, Netanyahu underscored that “we fully support all of the steps that the U.S. has taken as well as its full right to defend itself and its citizens”. View More 1 January 2020 Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz asserted that “Israel supports the U.S. and strongly condemns the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad by agents of the Iranian regime. Attempting to target American diplomats in Iraq is a serious mistake”. “Israel calls on the international community to take a firm stance against Iran's criminal acts”, Katz added. In separate remarks, Katz assessed that “there is a possibility – the chances are not high, but it exists – that the Iranians could harm Israel and drag us into this”. “It must be clear to them that we will respond with great force to any attack”, he added. View More 30 December 2019 The U.S. State Department reported that “Secretary Pompeo and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed U.S. strikes in Syria and Iraq and the threat Iran presents to the region. The Secretary reiterated that the U.S. will take decisive action to defend its citizens and their interests against Iranian threats”. View More 29 December 2019 Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz asserted that the Pentagon's "announcement that the U.S. attacked five Kataeb Hizbollah targets in Iraq and Syria in response to the attack on the K1 base is a turning point in the regional response to Iran and its proxies. If Iran fails to understand the power of the U.S. they will be making a big mistake". In a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo the following day, Prime Minister Netanyahu "commended… the important U.S. action against Iran and its proxies in the region". View More 26 December 2019 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with the Russian president about “Iran and the situation in Syria”, according to Netanyahu’s office. View More 26 December 2019 The head of Israel’s foreign intelligence service described Iran as “at the top of the Mossad’s work priorities”. “All Iranian nuclear, long-range missile and precision missile activities, its regional spread and its support for terrorist organisations are a challenge to the security of the State of Israel and its citizens”, he added. View More 25 December 2019 Israel’s military chief of staff assessed that “there is a possibility that we will face a limited confrontation with Iran and we are preparing for it”. He went on to assert that “we will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria, or in Iraq… Iraq is undergoing a civil war, when the Qods force is operating there on a daily basis, when the country itself has turned into an ungoverned area. Advanced weapons are being smuggled by the Qods force in Iraq on a monthly basis and we can’t allow that”. View More 23 December 2019 The U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, asserted that “the Reuters report on the massacre ordered by Khamenei underscores the urgency for the international community to punish the perpetrators and isolate the regime for the murder of 1,500 Iranian citizens”. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz also drew on the figures and stated: “Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei is a war criminal. He ordered the murder of 1500 civilian protestors and the ICC [International Criminal Court] doesn’t even open an investigation”. A senior official at Iran’s Supreme National Security Council rejected the claims and insisted that “the protestations that Reuters made in its report are totally worthless not only in terms of security issues and intelligence but in the field of news and media, and will damage the already-tarnished credibility of this agency”. The following day, Secretary Pompeo stated that “the U.S. strongly denounces the arrest of Pouya Bakhtiari’s parents [who was killed during November protests], and calls for their immediate release. It’s time for the international community to stand together with the Iranian people and hold the regime accountable”. View More 23 December 2019 Syrian state media reported that “army air defenses intercepted hostile missiles coming from the occupied lands [ie, Israel]… one of the hostile targets fell in Aqraba region in Damascus countryside”. The Lebanese defence minister subsequently asserted that “this blatant attack is condemned, and I call on the international community to intervene to prevent these repeated attacks on Lebanon’s sovereignty”. A senior advisor to Iran’s supreme leader warned that “Israeli airstrikes against Syria will not go unanswered, and Tel Aviv will regret having committed these crimes… Sooner or later, Israel will receive a response for its aerial attacks on and crimes in Syria”. View More 18 December 2019 Israel’s national security advisor met with his U.S. counterpart in Washington. According to a joint statement, “the two agreed to continue close coordination on countering Iran’s destabilising influence and activities in the region, as well as monitoring the ramifications of unrest within Iran”. They also “directed their respective teams to continue joint working groups in the months ahead to dramatically improve bilateral relations in a number of areas, including cyber, intelligence, security and development of telecommunications security to counter the threats posed by Iran and other actors”. View More 17 December 2019 Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett contended that “the ayatollahs in Iran send us their tentacles in an effort to terrorise the citizens of Israel. The more Iran tries to establish itself on Syrian soil, the deeper it will sink in the Syrian sands. Syria is increasingly becoming Iran's Vietnam”. He went on to assert that “we will increase the pressure, Iran has nothing to look for on Syrian soil. We will continue to protect the country's borders”. View More 16 December 2019 Israel’s military chief of staff noted that “the IDF is fighting and operating daily and nightly on numerous fronts, which have grown in number recently, and the number of enemies is greater than the number of fronts. In Syria, for example, the [Iranian] Qods force and Hizbollah are operating, and in Lebanon, Iran's terrorist tentacles are solidifying their grip. He added that “any organisation, and especially the IDF, cannot be satisfied with maintaining and preserving the status quo. The IDF must change and innovate to beat its enemies to the punch and develop a significant advantage”. View More 14 December 2019 Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah asserted that “the Americans assumed that the Lebanese protests are against Hizbollah and Iran, knowing that they did not propose anything like that. Their slogans were economic and righteous ones”. He added that “Hizbollah is a great threat. A threat on U.S. agendas and interests not on the Lebanese interests”. Nasrallah further maintained that “some think that if Iran was attacked it will refer to its allies to defend it, and let me correct this misconception and assure that Iran will defend itself by itself, it will not stay silent and will not accept to be defended by anyone… If its allies wanted to take action, that would be their own decision”. Prime Minister Netanyahu subsequently said: “I would like to make it clear that if Nasrallah dares to attack Israel, the organisation and the Lebanese state that enable aggression from its territory against us will pay a very heavy price”. View More 14 December 2019 In a visit to the U.S., the IDF’s deputy chief of staff met with senior U.S. military officials “to discuss a range of strategic and operational issues, including the efforts to counter Iranian actions in the region”. View More 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.