Joint Statement of the Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yair Lapid:
This morning, the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs hosted ambassadors of UNSC member countries for a briefing held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This briefing is part of the national effort of the State of Israel to call on the international community to condemn and stop Iranian terror and aggression in the region.
During the past week, Israel has acted in all the possible diplomatic and security channels in order to call on the international community to set clear boundaries for Iran and to cease its aggressive conduct. The Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized to the ambassadors that Israel will maintain the right to act independently in the face of any attack or threat to its citizens and sovereignty. They further stressed that the recent attacks are not part of a local or bilateral conflict – rather that this is an attack on the international community, and that the community should treat it as such and respond. Such action requires unity within the international community and action may be taken through the UN Security Council or any other international framework that will hold Iran accountable for its actions.
Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: “Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Commander of the IRGC’s Air Force, is behind dozens of terror attacks in the region employing UAVs and missiles. For the first time ever, I will also expose the man who is directly responsible for the launch of suicide UAVs - his name is Saeed Ara Jani and he is the Head of the IRGC’s UAV Command. The UAV command conducted the attack on Mercer Street. Saeed Ara Jani plans and provides the training and equipment to conduct terror attacks in the region.”
Gantz added: “Iran has once again proven to be a global challenge, a regional challenge and also a challenge to the State of Israel. Iran is responsible for dozens of terror attacks across the Middle East, while controlling its proxies in Yemen, Iraq and additional countries. Iran has violated all of the guidelines set in the JCPOA and is only around 10 weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon. Now is the time for deeds – words are not enough. It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds - otherwise the attacks will continue.*
Minister Gantz also emphasized, “The Iranian people are not our enemy. The Iranian regime is threatening us and sparking a regional arms race.”
In regards to discussions with international counterparts: The defense establishment has shared intelligence with our partners and will continue to provide them with concrete evidence [related to the recent attacks].
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid: "This is not a conflict between armies in Syria. This is not a covert operation against a military facility. This is an attack on the world's trade routes, this is an attack on freedom of movement. This is an international crime. So my question to you is, [referring to the ambassadors]: what is the international community going to do about it? Is there still such a thing as international law? And does the world have the ability and willpower to enforce it the law? If the answer is ‘yes’, the world should act now. If the international community does not respond in this attack, then there is no such thing as an international community. Instead it will be, ‘every man for himself.’”