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Mon, 20 Jan 2020 11:19 GMT

Iran May Attack Israel If US Standoff Escalates: Israeli Minister

Politics

7Dnews London

Mon, 13 May 2019 01:58 GMT

An Israeli cabinet minister warned on Sunday May 12th of possible direct or proxy Iranian attacks on Israel, should the stand-off between Tehran and Washington escalate.

The U S has increased economic and military pressure on Iran, with president Trump on Thursday May 9th, urging its leaders to talk to him about giving up their nuclear programme, and saying he could not rule out an armed confrontation.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, which supports Trump's hard position against its arch-foe, has largely been reticent about the spiralling tensions, Reuters has reported.

However, breaking the silence Israeli energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, said that in the Gulf, "things are heating up."

"If there's some sort of conflagration between Iran and the United States, between Iran and its neighbours, I'm not ruling out that they will activate Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), from Gaza, or even that they will try to fire missiles from Iran at the state of Israel," Steinitz, a member of Netanyahu's security cabinet, told Israel's Ynet TV.

Hezbollah and PIJ, are Iranian-sponsored guerrilla groups on Israel's borders, the former active in Syria as well as Lebanon and the latter in the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli military declined to comment when asked if it was making any preparations for possible threats linked to the Iran-US standoff.

Israel has traded blows with Iranian forces in Syria, as well as with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Palestinian militants. But it has not fought an open war with Iran, a country on the other side of the Middle East.

Middle East