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Israel, Iran exchange threats as war prospects mount

Lieberman meeting with senior IDF officials in his vist to Sa'ad and the Gaza vicinity (Photo: Israel's Defense Ministry)
In yet another war of words, Israel warns Iran against further escalation after Iran threatens an all-out war that will drive Israelis to the sea; Iranian army’s second-in-command: ‘the fingers are on the trigger and the missiles are ready for launch.’

Threats of—and against—war were exchanged Friday, with the second-in-command of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami asserting Israelis will have nowhere to run but the sea following an Iranian incursion, while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned against such an endeavor, boasting Israel has never been more prepared for an all-out armed conflict.

Recent growing hostilities between the two nations came following Israel’s air strike on the T-4 airbase in Syria earlier this month, which claimed 14 lives, including seven Iranian “military advisors.”

The attack reportedly targeted an advanced Iranian air-defense system that was recently installed, and was aimed to “blunt Tehran’s expanding influence in the Middle East.”

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Israel has for years warned against Tehran’s hegemonic aspirations in the region.”I suggest that everyone on the northern border think carefully about what they are doing,” said Lieberman while on a visit to the kibbutz of Sa’ad in the Gaza vicinity that took place on the backdrop of Hamas-led riots on the Gaza border.

“They should not try the IDF or the State of Israel. We are ready for any scenario. We are ready for a multifaceted scenario. There has never been such readiness and such willingness, both in the army and among the people of Israel, in recent memory.”

This came in response to Salami, who openly threatened Israel in a Friday sermon in Tehran, saying, “the fingers are on the trigger and the missiles are ready for launch.”

He continued by cautioning Israel not to rely on their might of its Air Force, as its airbases “are within range of fire and will be out of commission quickly,” or their allies, naming the US and the UK, as “there will be no trace of you left when they arrive (to aid you—ed).”

“We know you well, you are besieged everywhere in the occupied territories—from the north and the west,” Salami said, referring to Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria at the north and adjacency to the Mediterranean Sea at the West.

“The Resistance (the Islamic Republic and its allies and proxies—mainly Hezbollah and Hamas) today is much stronger than in the past,” he affirmed. “Do not think that the new war will be like the ‘July War’ (the Second Lebanon War). You saw how The Resistance acted against those Takfiri militants (ISIS) on the ground.

“You have no place to escape—you live in the mouth of the snake. The only place you can escape to is the sea.”

Salami is not the first to threaten to drive Israelis into the sea, as that threat was made against Jews living in Israel ever since the idea of a Jewish state became popular.

“We have been hearing these threats for many years, and we are not moved,” Lieberman retorted. “We are not looking for war. On the contrary, we seek quiet, tranquility and security; But if someone is plotting a war, his blood will be on his own head,” he said quoting a bible verse, meaning those who are hostile bear the responsibility for hostilities.

“I do not know if anyone is up to war, but we’re calm. Like I said—we are preparing for everything,” he concluded.

By Matan Tzuri and Yoav Zitun, Ynet News



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