Photo Credit: Gilad Kavalerchik / Herzliya Conference
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman at the Herzliya Conference, May 10, 2018

Discussing the enemy attack on the Golan Heights Wednesday night and the subsequent, heavy Israeli retaliation, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday told the Herzliya Conference, on the IDC Herzliya Campus, “We have no interest in escalation but we must be prepared for any scenario.”

“We are facing a new reality where Iran is attacking Israel directly and trying to harm Israel’s sovereignty and territories,” he added.

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As for what happened earlier that same morning in the Golan Heights, Liberman stressed that “Iranian missiles did not reach Israeli territory, they either fell in Syria or were intercepted by Iron Dome. No building or person or infrastructure was hit. We have hit almost the entire Iranian infrastructure in Syria. They must remember – if it rains here (in Israel), there’ll be a flood over there.”

Liberman used the conference stage to expand on many issues including Israel’s policy towards Syria: “We will not allow Iran to bring anti-aircraft warfare (to Syria) and close Israeli air space.”

On relations with the US and Russia: “It shouldn’t be taken for granted that we have the ability to talk and consult with the two biggest powers at a moment’s notice.”

On internal Iranian matters: “What happened yesterday with the [crashed] Iranian currency and other economic parameters in recent months show that [Iran’s] economy is on the verge of collapse.”

On Hezbollah in Lebanon: “The recent elections in Lebanon are in fact the completion of Hezbollah’s takeover of Lebanon. The Lebanese army is now under the direct control of [Hassan] Nasrallah.”

On Middle East relations, referring to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States: “It’s time for the moderate countries in the Middle East to come out of the closet, speak openly … we need an Axis of moderate countries.”

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