Gantz issues threat to Lebanon: ‘What was is not necessarily what will be’

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a conference in the Eshkol region, southern Israel, on July 13, 2021. (Flash90)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a conference in the Eshkol region, southern Israel, on July 13, 2021. (Flash90)

Touring the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command, Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Israel is open to helping Lebanon deal with its deep economic and political crisis, but at the same time will not accept continued attacks along the border, or from Iran.

“The crisis in Lebanon is devastating. The State of Israel calls on the international community to aid Lebanon. We are also willing to provide assistance. However, we will not let the tragedy in Lebanon cross the border into Israel,” Gantz says.

“We are well aware of Hezbollah’s attempts to exploit the situation at the expense of the safety and livelihoods of Lebanese citizens – under the direct influence of Iran,” he adds.

Referring to the recent attack on the Israel-linked Mercer Street ship in the Gulf of Oman, widely blamed on Iran, Gantz says that “just as we saw in the maritime attack, which claimed the lives of two foreign nationals, Iran is the greatest threat to global and regional peace. Israel will not stand by while Iran advances its nuclear program. We call on the international community to take action and stop Iranian aggression. This is the time for joint action.”

He adds Israel will respond to aggression at the time of its choosing, issuing a threat: “Those who have become accustomed to equations should understand that what was is not necessarily what will be, and they should do the math.”

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