PM & IDF Chief address Hamas humanitarian crises amidst funding from Iran; Netanyahu: Our presence here is the main element in the Middle East blocking the spread of radical Islam.
During his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed he had received an intelligence briefing from IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot on developments in the region, mainly on Iran’s growing presence on Israel’s borders, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Eisenkot reported Sunday that a war with Hamas in 2018 is highly likely given the humanitarian and economic crises in the Gaza Strip. He reported that the terror organization could use a conflict with Israel as a distraction from its humanitarian abuses on its people.
The briefing fell during an ongoing IDF military drill in southern Israel and amidst Arab media reports that war will break out with Hamas in the coming days. The terrorist organization, which has been significantly funded by Iran, continues its rocket attacks on Israel as it actively builds up its rocket and mortar capabilities. Iran is reported to provide Hamas with approximately $100 million annually.
Speaking to this cabinet Sunday, Netanyahu reported that he had informed President Trump, European leadership and President Putin that Israel will do “whatever is necessary to defend ourselves,” boasting of the strength of the Israel Defense Forces. He stated, “I have full confidence in the Chief-of-Staff and the IDF. The IDF is the strongest military in the Middle East and this is a good thing because we face many challenges. Our [Israel’s] presence here is the main element in the Middle East blocking the spread of radical Islam, led by Iran and Islamic State which also threaten all other elements in the world,” adding “We are not bent on war, but we will do whatever is necessary to defend ourselves.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with numerous heads of state recently in Davos, including a meeting with Trump followed by a meeting with Putin in Moscow last week, talks centered on Iran in Syria, Hezbollah’s precision missiles and Islamic terrorism.
Following his meeting with Putin last week, the prime minister confirmed he “told Putin that Israel views two developments with utmost gravity: First is Iran’s efforts to establish a military presence in Syria and second is Iran’s attempt to manufacture – in Lebanon – precision weapons against the State of Israel. I made it clear to him that we will not agree to either one of these developments and will act according to need.”
Photo: Netanyahu, Wikimedia Commons, 2018