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January 8, 2020 11:56 am

Netanyahu: Iran Will Suffer ‘Crushing Blow’ if It Attacks Israel

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media after reviewing an exhibition by the Israeli Air Force at the Palmachim Air Force Base near the city of Rishon LeZion in central Israel, Oct. 27, 2019. Photo: Abir Sultan / Pool via Reuters / File.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened Iran on Wednesday with a “crushing blow” if it attacked the Jewish state in retaliation for the US air strike last week that killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Netanyahu’s comments came after an Iranian missile barrage targeted US military forces in Iraq the previous night.

“We stand steadfast against those who seek our lives,” the Israeli leader declared. “We stand determined and strong. Whoever tries to attack us will receive a crushing blow in return.”

Netanyahu also praised US President Donald Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani, saying, “President Trump should be congratulated for acting swiftly, boldly and resolutely against this terrorist-in-chief who was the architect and driver of Iran’s campaign of carnage and terror throughout the Middle East and throughout the world.”

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“What I am saying here today, openly, and what I have said in recent days, many, many leaders in the Middle East think,” he added. “It is very important to say that Israel stands completely beside the United States. I once again want to say what I have said many times, and I repeat it today, and it is especially important today, America has no better friend than Israel and Israel has no better friend than the United States of America.”

“Qassem Soleimani was responsible for the death of countless innocent people,” Netanyahu noted. “He destabilized many countries. For decades, he sowed fear and misery and anguish and he was planning much worse.”

“In the Middle East, no day is like any other,” he went on to say. “The regional upheaval continues. The struggle between extremists and moderates continues unabated. On one side is radical Islam led by Iran, which seeks to grasp large sections of the area by means of murderous terrorism, and to grasp, strangle and eliminate us, because they understand that the strongest force of Western culture is here, in the State of Israel. They understand this very well.”

“On the other side is the pragmatic camp that is threatened by Islamic extremists,” Netanyahu pointed out. “This camp well understands the campaign for existence, for life and for the future. The State of Israel is the anchor of stability in these stormy waters. The challenges that we are dealing with are not lessening — on the contrary.”

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