KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Friday said his country was seeking the capability to defend itself against Israeli strikes, and will never normalize relations with the Jewish state.

His remarks carried by the official Sudan news agency SUNA on Friday also repeated Khartoum’s claim that an explosion at a military factory near the capital last month was from an Israeli attack.

In the transcript from an appearance on the semi-official Blue Nile TV this week, Bashir calls Israel the “Zionist enemy” that “will remain the enemy” and rejects the possibility of normalized relations between the two states.

On Thursday, al-Bashir promised a painful response to what his government claims was an Israeli bombing, according to a Reuters report.

“I am in perfect health, and our response to Israel will be painful,” Sudanese state radio quoted him saying in a text message he sent after undergoing surgery on a “benign tumor” in Saudi Arabia.

Sudan accused Israel of carrying out an airstrike on the Yarmouk complex, a munitions factory outside the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, on October 24. The explosion and fire that caused part of the facility’s destruction left at least two dead.

Israel has not commented on the explosion, which killed four. A US-based monitoring group has said satellite imagery suggests a strike.

In 2009, Sudan also blamed Israel for an attack on an arms convoy there.