Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Thursday at a news conference in Be’er Sheva that Israel now faces two threats: that of Da’esh, or ISIS — and that of Iran.
Both issues were relevant to the condolences that Netanyahu expressed on behalf of Israel to the Egyptian people over the slaughter of dozens of police officers and Egyptian soldiers in Sinai on Wednesday by ISIS terrorists. An IDF official told media earlier in the evening there is also evidence indicating that Hamas terrorists — who are backed by Iran — were involved in helping the Sinai terrorists who attacked the Egyptian security personnel.
“Up until several months ago, when we said that ISIS was carrying out actions on our borders, people were skeptical,” Netanyahu said. “And here we see before our very eyes ISIS operating with unusual brutality on both our northern and southern borders.
“Our hearts are with the Egyptian people and we send our condolences to the Egyptian government and to the families whose loved ones have fallen in the struggle against vicious terrorism.
“The actions that we have seen from ISIS are nothing compared to the capabilities being built by the Iranian regime,” the prime minister continued, referencing the current nuclear deal being negotiated with Tehran six world powers.
The terrorist groups aligned against Israel in Gaza and Lebanon, he noted, are also all generously supported by Iran.
“It is clear that nobody in their right mind would give ISIS nuclear weapons. But in the major powers’ current talks with Iran they are giving it – this extremist state that is exporting terrorism around the world – the ability to develop an arsenal of nuclear weapons, of very many nuclear bombs along with the means to deliver them – long-range missiles,” Netanyahu pointed out.
“Therefore, we now face two threats – from ISIS and from Iran. We need not strengthen one at the expense of the other. We need to weaken both and prevent the aggression and arming of both.
“I tell you that in the face of these forces of darkness, which repress human rights, murder people and hang them up in public squares, against these forces we are moving forward here in Be’er Sheva with the cyber park,” Netanyahu went on, describing a new project that has been launched in the southern city.
“We see very great progress here in Be’er Sheva; this is a global revolution. While this revolution gives us considerable economic strength, as well as security and military strength, it requires us to leave behind the usual patterns, move on to other things and set forth a vision.
“The vision of Ben-Gurion was correct. Another vision must be added to it, that of commercial development. When commercial interests are joined to these companies, and they can profit, they come here and create growth that we could not even dream about.
“Here we are receiving all global forces, among them the strongest forces in the global economy, in Be’er Sheva, the Negev and the State of Israel because we created a commercial interest for them. This is a revolution. This will serve all citizens of the State of Israel, all of them without exception.
“The same thing can also be done now with the gas reserves. The gas reserves are a great gift that we have received. A vast quantity of gas is under the seabed. A small part of it has been extracted; a very great part is still in reserves under the sea. We must extract it from there. It is commercial firms that are extracting it.
“We have seen to it that 60% of their profits will enter into state coffers. We are using this, and will use it, for health, social welfare, education and security. We are talking about hundreds of billions of shekels — not hundreds of millions of shekels – but hundreds of billions of shekels in the coming years.
Hana Levi Julian