Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused Iran of planning another “Holocaust,” as the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Holocaust denial is continued energetically by a central state in the world,” he told his cabinet in Jerusalem.
“Not by groups. Not by single individuals. Not by marginal elements. But by Iran, whose leaders on a daily basis and at the United Nations and any other platform deny that the Holocaust occurred, while at the same time they prepare what they believe will be an additional Holocaust: The destruction of the Jewish state.”
Israel, he said, would not make the mistake of underestimating the threat and his government’s first and foremost mission remained to prevent Tehran from becoming a nuclear power.
The day of remembrance marks the anniversary of the 1945 liberation by the advancing Red Army of the survivors of Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp.
Netanyahu also warned the ministers during the weekly cabinet meeting against the risk of chemical weapons from Syria falling into the hands of Hezbollah.
“It is necessary to look at our surroundings, both at what is happening with Iran and its proxies, and what is happening in other arenas – lethal weaponry in Syria, which is steadily breaking up,” Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting.
On Saturday, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying that Iran would consider any attack against Syria as an attack against itself.
These threats, Netanyahu stressed, require Israel to form the largest coalition possible.
“The Middle East is not awaiting for the outcome of election and is not stopping while the [Israeli] government is assembled. We are facing many threats, from the most dangerous ones, which I have mentioned, to others and reality continues to evolve – in the east, in the north, in the south – the entire area is raging and we must prepared and strong and determined in the face of any possible development. For this reason, I will seek to form the widest and most stable government in order to respond, first and foremost, to every security threat,” Netanyahu said.
Several Iron Dome anti-missile batteries have recently been deployed to northern Israel, including around Haifa, the IDF confirmed on Sunday. Last week, the IDF conducted an exercise meant to expand the system’s capabilities.
The IDF Spokesman’s Unit said the batteries were deployed on an experimental basis in various spots around the country, ahead of a more permanent deployment in the near future.