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Amid talk of Iran strike, Bennett says Israel rearming as it hasn’t for years

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett leads a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on December 19, 2021. (Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett leads a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on December 19, 2021. (Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tells the Knesset that the country’s security services, chiefly the Israel Defense Forces, are rearming as they haven’t for years.

Bennett’s comments come as the IDF is working intensively to prepare for a potential military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, amid growing concerns that ongoing talks between the world powers and Tehran in Vienna on curbing the latter’s nuclear program may result in an agreement that Israel deems unacceptable.

“We are investing in security rearmament of the IDF and the entire defense establishment. I would say this was rearmament that we haven’t seen for years. This rearmament is important to our survival, and I am very glad about it and am determined to see it through quickly,” Bennett says, speaking to the parliament’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Bennett reiterates that Israel will not be a party to a nuclear deal reached with Iran and will do whatever it deems necessary to ensure the country’s security.

“In terms of the Vienna talks, the nuclear talks — we are indeed concerned. It is important for me to say and to clarify here in a way that can’t be misunderstood: Israel is not part of the agreements, Israel is not bound by what is written in the agreements if they are signed, and Israel will continue to ensure its full freedom of operation in any place and at any time, with no limitations,” Bennett says.

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