Netanyahu warns of 'resounding blow' if Iran attacks Israel

Prime Minister warns Israel will strike a "resounding blow" against Iran if the Islamic republic attacks Israel.

Tags: Iran
Arutz Sheva Staff, AFP ,

PM Netanyahu at the conference
PM Netanyahu at the conference
Olivya Pitusi, Kohelet Forum

Speaking at the Kohelet Forum Conference in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday that Israel would strike a "resounding blow" if attacked by arch foe Iran, as regional tensions soar after the US killing of a top Iranian general.

"Anyone who attacks us will receive a resounding blow," the premier told the Kohelet Policy Forum conference in Jerusalem Wednesday, after Iran launched a salvo retaliatory missile strikes on bases used by US troops deployed to Iraq.

Netanyahu has described the target of last week's US drone strike – Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards foreign operations arm -- as a "terrorist-in-chief".

"Qassem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people, he destabilized many countries for decades, he sowed fear and misery and anguish and he was planning much worse," Netanyahu said.

"He was the architect and driver of Iran's campaign of terror throughout the Middle East and the world."

The Israeli premier praised US President Donald Trump for "acting swiftly, boldly, and resolutely" in killing Soleimani in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

"President Trump should be congratulated for acting swiftly, boldly and resolutely against this terrorist-in-chief who was the architect and driver of Iran's campaign of carnage and terror throughout the Middle East and throughout the world."

"What I am saying here today, openly, and what I have said in recent days, many, many leaders in the Middle East think. It is very important to say that Israel stands completely beside the United States. I once again want to say what I have said many times, and I repeat it today, and it is especially important today, America has no better friend than Israel and Israel has no better friend than the United States of America.”

“In the Middle East, no day is like any other. The regional upheaval continues. The struggle between extremists and moderates continues unabated. On one side is radical Islam led by Iran, which seeks to grasp large sections of the area by means of murderous terrorism, and to grasp, strangle and eliminate us, because they understand that the strongest force of Western culture is here, in the State of Israel. They understand this very well."

"On the other side is the pragmatic camp that is threatened by Islamic extremists. This camp well understands the campaign for existence, for life and for the future. The State of Israel is the anchor of stability in these stormy waters. The challenges that we are dealing with are not lessening – on the contrary. Nevertheless, we stand steadfast against those who seek our lives. We stand determined and strong. Whoever tries to attack us will receive a crushing blow in return.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) warned Tuesday night that it would strike not only the US, but America’s allies – including Israel – if the US retaliates against the Islamic republic following Iran’s ballistic missile attacks on Iraqi bases used by American forces.

“We warn the Great Satan, the bloodthirsty and arrogant regime of the US, that any new wicked act or more moves and aggressions (against Iran) will bring about more painful and crushing responses,” the IRGC said in a statement quoted by the Tasnim news agency.

“We are warning all US allies who gave their bases to its terrorist army that any territory that in any way becomes the starting point of hostile and aggressive acts against the Islamic Republic of Iran will be targeted,” the statement added.

“We in no way consider the Zionist regime (of Israel) to be separated from the criminal US regime in these crimes,” it said.

Despite the threat, however, sources in Israel’s security establishment estimated Wednesday that Iran’s response to the latest escalation would be measured, and that Iran would most likely not target Israel.

Iran launched a dozen ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases which house some of the roughly 5,000 American troops deployed to Iraq.

There are no reports of American casualties in the attacks.