Mossad chief: Palestinian conflict is main threat to Israel

Even with a nuclear-armed Iran, ‘I wouldn’t rush out and get a foreign passport just yet,’ Tamir Pardo says dryly

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Then Mossad chief Tamir Pardo in 2012 (photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef/Flash90)
Then Mossad chief Tamir Pardo in 2012 (photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef/Flash90)

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the single largest threat to the Jewish state’s security, the head of the Mossad intelligence agency said.

Speaking at a private gathering Thursday in Ramat Hasharon, Tamir Pardo stressed that “yes, the greatest threat is the Palestinian issue,” even when taking the Iranian regime’s nuclear aspirations into account, Haaretz reported on Sunday.

Pardo’s comments echoed statements by former Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin, who warned last year that the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians poses more of an existential danger to Israel than Iran’s renegade nuclear program.

Pardo reportedly added that while Tehran may in the future attempt to acquire or produce nuclear weapons, such developments need not be as threatening to Israel as is often perceived.

“I wouldn’t suggest you rush out and get a foreign passport just yet,” he reportedly said.

The Mossad chief went on to assert that the advances of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant forces in the region may pose a serious security risk to Israel as well as to the Jordanian regime.

“This is a very disturbing threat for Israel, and [ISIL] are here to stay,” he said. “It’s an organization that advocates murder for the sake of murder… Hamas is just a light threat compared to them.”

Pardo stressed that while the Jordanian army possessed the means to combat ISIL, the presence of more than one million Iraqi and Syrian refugees in the kingdom, along with an attack by the Sunni Muslim militia, may heavily destabilize the country, the report said.

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