update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

‘Israel must prepare to confront Iran,’ says former NSC chief

The Jewish state may need to attack the Islamic Republic without U.S. assistance, says Yaakov Amidror.

From left: Israel Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi visit the IAF control center, Jan. 25, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
From left: Israel Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi visit the IAF control center, Jan. 25, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

War with Iran is increasingly probable, and therefore Jerusalem needs to prepare to attack the Islamic Republic even without U.S. support, the former head of Israel’s National Security Council warned on Thursday.

“War is much closer than peace, and Iran is more self-confident after forging [detente] agreements with Arab countries. The world is changing and the probability of circumstances deteriorating is greater than ever,” Yaakov Amidror said in an interview with Radio 103 FM.

“We must prepare for war, and it is possible that Israel will arrive at a juncture whereby it will have to attack Iran without America’s help,” he added.

Amidror chaired the NSC from 2011 to 2013 under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and previously headed the Israel Defense Forces’ Military Intelligence Directorate.

“America is no longer the same America it once was, and the Iranians have noticed this. The United States has more complex issues to deal with than the Middle East, and the rest of the world sees Israel differently from the way it used to,” said Amidror.

“The Iranians are pressing hard to create turmoil,” he continued. “We haven’t seen anything quite like this before. Things have reached the boiling point and even if we have not yet seen the volcano erupt, that does not mean that things are not bubbling inside.”

Tensions continue to simmer following an explosion of terrorism this month emanating from Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and throughout Judea and Samaria and other parts of Israel.

The IDF last week struck Hamas assets in Southern Lebanon after the Palestinian terrorist group fired 34 rockets towards northern Israel. On Sunday, the military struck targets in Syria in response to six rockets fired towards the Golan Heights.

On March 15, a terrorist who infiltrated from Lebanon planted a roadside bomb in northern Israel that severely wounded a motorist. The perpetrator was killed by Israeli forces while attempting to return to Lebanon, according to authorities. Shareef ad-Din, 21, from the Israeli Arab town of Salem, was wounded when the explosive device detonated around 6 a.m. The bomb was planted behind a barrier by the side of the road near the Megiddo Junction, some 18 miles southeast of Haifa.

On Friday, an Italian tourist was killed and seven other foreigners were wounded in a car-ramming attack in central Tel Aviv. The terrorist, identified as Arab Israeli Yousef Abu Jaber, 45, from Kafr Qasim, 12 miles east of Tel Aviv, drove his vehicle into a crowd on a busy seaside promenade in the heart of the city.

That, in turn, followed a shooting on April 7 that killed sisters Maia Dee, 20, and Rina Dee, 15. Their mother, Lucy, 48, succumbed on Monday to wounds sustained in the act of terror.

Violence has also erupted atop the Temple Mount as Muslims mark Ramadan. Israeli police earlier this month arrested more than 350 rioters who had barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Muslims who had smuggled fireworks, clubs and stones into the mosque blocked the doors from inside using iron rods, closets and other objects. They also chanted inciting slogans, threw stones and shot fireworks at police.

In response, Israel has called up IDF and Border Police reserve troops to help secure the country and in anticipation of a possible escalation in violence. The Cabinet also barred Jews from ascending the Temple Mount for the final 10 days of Ramadan, which ends on April 21.

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