JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured northern Israel and visited the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Northern Command with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant Tuesday. He received an intelligence and military briefing, warning that his country's chief threat is Iran, and that the new government will not tolerate Iranian military actions across the border in Lebanon and Syria.
"We are determined to fight Iran's attempts to develop a nuclear arsenal," Netanyahu said. "We are determined to fight any attempt by Iran to entrench militarily in Syria on our northern border. We are determined to fight any attempt by Hezbollah to show aggression against us in Lebanon. Whoever needs a reminder about our red lines on this matter will receive it."
Defense Minister Gallant promised that Israel's security establishment would "sever the channels by which Iranian weaponry is transferred to Lebanon and Hezbollah. The quiet in the north is an important goal," he added. "Therefore, in addition to maintaining quiet, we will take strong action against any attempt to attack Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers."
Netanyahu has made frequent references to the Iranian threat since before he took office on December 29th, and especially afterward. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is expected in Israel later in January to discuss the military and security situation. Israel's new Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer has also been in Washington, clarifying Israel's position with Biden administration officials.
Other Israeli defense leaders accompanied Netanyahu on the initial official visit to the north, including National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi, IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram, and the head of the Northern Command, Maj.-Gen. Ori Gordin.