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‘We’ll act as we see fit’: National security adviser says Israel not afraid to differ with US on Iran

National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata speaks during the IISS Manama Dialogue in the Bahraini capital Manama on November 21, 2021. (Mazen Mahdi/AFP)
National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata speaks during the IISS Manama Dialogue in the Bahraini capital Manama on November 21, 2021. (Mazen Mahdi/AFP)

In a rare interview, National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata says Israel isn’t hesitating to air differences of opinion regarding how to counter the Iranian threat.

After meeting US President Joe Biden today in Jerusalem, Hulata tells Channel 13: “President Biden has said the whole time that he prefers a diplomatic solution, but that in the absence of other solutions, he will use military force against Iran. I’ve heard the US president say this, and one of his famous sayings is that ‘powers don’t bluff’ — so this should be taken seriously.”

“We aren’t afraid to tell the Americans that we think differently, or to even act in Iran,” he adds. “Israel will act as it sees fit. We’ve acted quite a lot in Iran over the past year, and the US is backing us. We are acting with logic and responsibility, ad everyone can see this isn’t harming the relationship between the US president and Israel — on the contrary.”

Regarding Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia tomorrow, Hulata says: “We have been working for months on strengthening Israel’s relations with countries in the region, and Saudi Arabia is no doubt the most important in the region with which Israel can have a peaceful relation, and we are working on it.”

However, he cautions that patience is needed and says the results of these efforts will have to be judged in several months.

Asked about the recent decision by the Hamas terror organization to release a video showing Hisham al-Sayed, one of two Israeli civilians being held captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of two IDF soldiers, Hulata says: “Something has definitely shifted. Hamas chooses, out of its considerations, to release a video in which one of the civilians is seen alive, and we get a sign of life.

“I view this as a signal by Hamas, and my responsibility on that front is to get the most out of this.”

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