Israel Must Join International Efforts to Sign New Iran Deal, Labor Leader Gabbay Says

Avi Gabbay accuses government of failing to come up with crucial non-military solutions to the challenges facing Israel

Avi Gabbay at the Herzliya Conference, May 10, 2018.
Tomer Appelbaum

Avi Gabbay, the chairman of Israel's Labor Party, said Thursday that Israel should not turn its back "to our friends in Europe" and must join international diplomat attempts to sign a new nuclear deal with Iran.

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The opposition lawmaker accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government of seeking only military solutions for Israel's troubles.

"The great solutions to the problems and strategic challenges are never military solutions," he said. "The great solutions are diplomatic, economic and strategic solutions that are in the hands of the political echelon, which must ask itself every day whether this perception is still valid."

Gabbay spoke at the Herzilya Conference the day after a dramatic night that saw Israel attacking dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in response to a barrage of 20 rockets fired at Israeli military outposts.

>> Iran's 'first-ever' attack on Israel and Israel's most extensive Syria strike in decades: What we know and what happens next >>

The Israeli military accused the Revolutionary Guards' Al Quds force and its commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, of launching the attack at the Israeli Golan Heights. It was the first time Israel has directly accused Iran of firing toward Israeli territory.

The White House said it "strongly supports" Israel's right to self-defense and that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps "bears full responsibility for the consequences of its reckless actions."