Israeli Army Chief, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, warned on Wednesday that those who believed they can “eradicate” Israel will face the brunt of Israeli power, in a veiled threat to Iran.
“These days, the state of Israel and its residents are being threatened. These threats indicate a mistaken evaluation of our strength and capabilities,” he said at a ceremony in memory of fallen soldiers.
“Those who believe they can eradicate Israel and act on these beliefs will face the brunt of the IDF power,” he added, according to a military statement.
Gantz said the Israeli Army was ready and “prepared along our country’s borders” to thwart any such threats.
Gantz’s remarks come just days after Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the “cancerous tumor” of Israel is the biggest problem confronting Muslim countries today.
In a speech marking Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Khamenei said “the big powers have dominated the destiny of the Islamic countries for years and... installed the Zionist cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world,” according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
“Many of the Islamic world’s problems come from the existence of the sham Zionist regime,” he was quoted as saying.
Last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also told an annual anti-Israel protest in Tehran that the Jewish state was a “cancerous tumor” that will soon be excised, drawing Western rebukes.
“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor,” he said.
“The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land.... A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists,” Ahmadinejad said.
Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have long used the word “tumor” to portray Israel as an illegitimate state in the Middle East that will inevitably disappear.