(AsiaNews/Agencies) - Israel is ready, if necessary, to strike Iran, Lebanon
and Gaza, Israeli Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt Gen Benny Gantz said in an interview
with top Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
For him, the year 2012 will be critical to halt what Israel and much of the
international community believe is an Iranian nuclear arms programme. "We think
that a nuclear Iran is a very bad thing, which the world needs to stop and
which Israel needs to stop-and we are planning accordingly," Gantz said on the
eve of Israel's 64th anniversary as a state.
An attack against
Iran's nuclear plants has been openly discussed in Israel for years. In the
past few months, papers have carried both pro- and anti-attack views.
For the Jewish
state and much of the international community, Iran's nuclear programme has a
hidden military component. Conversely, Tehran has always claimed that it is
peaceful in nature.
For now, the
United States has kept to a diplomatic strategy, coupled with ever tightening
intelligence assessment asserts that given the strategic reality and
instability in the region, the chance of deteriorating to a war is higher than
in the past," Gen Gantz said in the interview. "There are no indications of
war, but the chances of the situation deteriorating into one are higher than in
In view of a
possible wider conflict, Israel's Defence Forces are preparing to respond to
threats from Lebanon and Gaza as well.
"I can't promise
no missiles will be landing here. They will be falling, many of them. It won't
be a simple war, neither on the frontlines nor ion the home front," he said.
"However, I don't advise anyone to test us on this front."