Israeli Defense Minister: Between ISIS and Hamas, Iran Remains Israel's Biggest Threat

In his first appearance before Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Lieberman warns that Israel's enemies are preparing to hit civilian targets in any new war with country.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. July 18, 2016.
Ariel Hermoni, GPO

In his first appearance before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee since being appointed defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman said Iran remains Israel's biggest threat and said civilians remained the main target of all of Israel's enemies.

"There is no other country with so many threats," he said. "The Islamic State in Sinai, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Al-Qaida in Syria, and above all Iran."

The Iranians, who concluded an accord a year ago with the major world powers providing limitations on its nuclear program, are "continuing with their missile program with full force, and its military program.

"You don't need to guess what the target for its missiles is," the defense minister said, noting that a parade in the Tehran, the Iranian capital, featured a display of missiles with a slogan calling for Israel to be wiped off the face of the earth.

"The fact that the countries of the world are ignoring Iran's violation of [United Nations] Security Council resolutions and of the agreement that it itself signed," an apparent reference to the nuclear accord, "requires investigation."

On the subject of decisively defeating any enemy that would seek confrontation with Israel, Lieberman said: "All of our enemies intend to target and hit the civilian front and innocent people above all in the next war. The subject of the [civilian] front is therefore receiving entirely different priority for us. Since that is the situation, if someone tries to force a confrontation upon us, any such confrontation needs to end decisively."

"That is the key word," the defense minister declared. "We need to erase any desire and any motivation to involve themselves with us a second time."