Minister: Israel Would Destroy Iran if Attacked
An Israeli government minister warned on Monday that Israel would respond to any Iranian
attack by destroying that country, public radio reported.
"An Iranian attack against Israel would
trigger a tough reaction that would lead to the destruction of the Iranian
nation," National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer
said in remarks of rare virulence.
"Iranians are aware of our strength
but continue to provoke us by arming their Syrian allies and Hezbollah,"
he said during a meeting at his ministry.
member of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's
security cabinet, stressed however that the Iranians were unlikely to attack as
"they understand the meaning of such an act".
Last month, Defence
Minister Ehud Barak told
visiting US Vice President Dick Cheney that "no option" would be ruled
out in Israel's bid to stop Iran from
acquiring nuclear weapons.
along with its ally the United States
and other Western powers, accuses Iran
of pursuing the development of a nuclear bomb under the guise of its civilian
nuclear programme - a charge Tehran denies.
its top enemy following repeated calls by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map.
stressed that an ongoing five-day home front defence
exercise was not meant to threaten Israel's neighbours,
but stressed that "the scenarios considered in the exercise could be
He said Israel
could one day find itself in a situation in which hundreds of rockets rain down
and Tel Aviv.
"Nowhere would be safe from Syrian and
The scenario for Monday's drill had Israel coming under simultaneous attack from Syria and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia in the
north and from Palestinian militants in Gaza
to the south.
The exercise, which started on Sunday,
comes amid media reports of heightened tensions along Israel's heavily guarded border with Syria and just
days after Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora put his armed forces on alert.