Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Thursday, 18 July 2019), at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem, attended the state memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Second Lebanon War.
Following is an excerpt from his remarks:
“In Operation Northern Shield, we neutralized the terrorist tunnels that Hezbollah had dug into our territory over the years. I do not want to expand here on the other actions that we are taking. The surprise will come in its time. We do not rejoice in war, but if it is forced on us we will strike the enemy decisively.
Regarding the Islamist challenge, we are working without respite to thwart Iran’s efforts to channel funds and weapons to Hezbollah. It is clear to all of you that without the Iranian oxygen pipeline, Hezbollah could not exist for very long. As soon as the Iranian scaffolding is removed, it will collapse. But the struggle against the Iranian aggression is not just ours, it needs to be the struggle of the entire world.
Today we again saw this aggression expressed in the waters of the Persian Gulf. I would like to remind you that for many years we stood alone in the face of the Iranian aggression.
The time has come for the entire enlightened world to understand the severity of the danger from Iran and Hezbollah. The time has come for the entire world to come out against them.
I regret that that has not yet happened to a sufficient degree and I have already said that even if we have to stand alone against Iran and its proxies – we will do so. Thus we have acted in Syria in order to prevent Iranian forces from entrenching themselves there. We will not allow a second Lebanon in Syria.
The principle that has guided my government is simple: Whoever rises up to kill you, prevent him from arming himself, especially with advanced, equilibrium-changing weapons.
Regarding the missiles challenge in Lebanon, I would like to clarify another very important point which the Chief-of-Staff recently emphasized. We will not allow any immunity to those who fire missiles at Israel even if they hide in densely populated areas. We will do everything to avoid injury to innocents, but we will not give immunity to those who launch missiles or to those who send them – not in Lebanon, not in Gaza, not anywhere.
The Lebanese government does not voice any opposition to Hezbollah militarily entrenching itself on its territory. It will also bear responsibility for this aggression.
To Nasrallah’s boastful statements, which you have certainly heard in recent days, only this can be said – if we are forced to embark on another war, we will act with great strength and we will ensure our victory.”