Giora Eiland
Giora EilandCourtesy of the photographer

Major-General (res.) Giora Eiland, a former National Security Council chief and IDF operations department chief, believes that Israel does not need to attack Iran directly, and should instead retaliate in a different fashion.

On Saturday night, Iran launched over 350 missiles, UAVs, and other weapons towards Israel. The vast majority were shot down outside of Israel's borders, but 30 crossed into Israeli territory, 25 of which were shot down. One Bedouin child was severely injured in the strikes, and the Nevatim air base in southern Israel sustained a strike as well, causing damage but no injuries.

"Israel does not need to attack in Iran," he told Channel 12 News. "There is no reason for it, and it has the potential to become complicated militarily, as well as regionally and with all of our friends - and the achievement will not be significant, regardless."

"If you want to put Iranians in their place and maybe even test them - there are two other arenas: One is in Syria. Everything started as the Iranian reaction to Israel's attack in Syria. There we have a real interest in preventing Iran from building what they are trying to [build]. If we hadn't operated in Syria over the past nine years, we would 'Hezbollah 2' in Syria. There are enough Iranian targets there that Israel can attack, and I assume the Iranians will know to accept it and not respond. If they respond - the entire world will stand with us."

But, Eiland noted, "The more important location is Lebanon. Israel's number one challenge - militarily, diplomatically, and strategically - is Lebanon. Therefore Israel needs to utilize the international support and say that on September 1, the residents of northern Israel will return home, and students will go back to learning in their schools. If the world wants to prevent a war that would start in Lebanon over here - the US, France, and anyone who knows how to pressure us - has an opportunity to apply pressure to the players over there and reach a normal agreement in Lebanon. If not - we will use the coming months for a war in Lebanon, because that is our main target."

"It is better to do this than to get ourselves in trouble with an extraneous operation in Iran - with all the dangers it involves - which could be a lot greater than what they seem," he explained. "For example, there could be a situation in which we attack in Iran and in response, the Iranians attack American targets or targets in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, and from that moment we would get into a war that the entire world would blame on us."