In a visit today to Home Front Command, the prime minister said he was impressed by improvements in the field, but challenges — particularly from Iran – were constantly piling up around Israel.
Netanyahu visited the Home Front Command base accompanied by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, on the occasion of Home Front Command’s national defense exercise called “Turning Point.”
The exercise was designed to allow residents across to Israel to practice entering bomb-proof shelters in the case of missile attacks on Israel.
Netanyahu told soldiers at Home Front Command that he was “certainly impressed with improvements” in their readiness to deal with threats across their broad purview. “There is very intensive and systematic work going on here to protect the Israeli home front,” said Netanyahu, adding that, “we have been doing this for several years, which was apparent during [Operation] Protective Edge.”
Netanyahu added, however, that despite constant preparation, “challenges are constantly piling up around us, among them missiles and rockets, most of which are supplied by Iran.”
The Israeli premier criticized deal between world powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program. The last hurdle before the June 30 deadline for an agreement began with talks last weekend, which aim to produce an agreement over international inspections of Iran’s program, a timetable for lifting international sanctions, and settling the remaining points of contention between Iran and the West.
Netanyahu said that “the agreement paves the way for Iran to [build] many atomic bombs, and would also pump billions of dollars into its coffers.” The Israeli prime minister stressed that with this money, “Iran would continue arming our enemies with far-reaching weapons and other arms, and would also use it to arm its terrorist war-machine, which works against us and against the rest of the Middle East.”
Netanyahu added that Iran’s terrorist arm was “many times more dangerous than the terrorist war-machine of the Islamic State, which is dangerous in and of itself.”
The Prime Minister rejected assurances recently given by President Barack Obama and his administration that the nuclear agreement would help reduce the Islamic Republic of Iran’s military power in the wake of the nuclear deal. Netanyahu also said that Israel would “do all that we can to ensure Israel’s security. When it comes to Israel’s security, I primarily rely on our own abilities.”