by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Aug 22, 2012
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 tumour" 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 tumour 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.
And last week Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also told an annual anti-Israel protest in Tehran that the Jewish state was a "cancerous tumour" that will soon be excised, drawing Western rebukes.
"The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour," 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 "tumour" to portray Israel as an illegitimate state in the Middle East that will inevitably disappear.
There expressions have often met with condemnation from world leaders.
Tensions between Israel and Iran are taut because of threats by the Jewish state to attack nuclear facilities in the Islamic republic to prevent it reaching the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
Israel and its ally, the United States, accuse Iran of seeking to develop an atomic arsenal.
Tehran denies that, and says its nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful. Its military chiefs warn they will destroy Israel if it attacks.
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Cost of Israeli Iran attack: $41.4 billion
Rishon Lezion, Israel (UPI) Aug 21, 2012
The Business Data Israel Ltd. research company estimates that an Israeli attack on Iran would cost Israel $41.4 billion. The BDI estimate includes the direct and indirect financial damage to the Israeli economy from an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. BDI costs the immediate cost to the Israeli economy from such an attack at $11.66 billion, plus $5.95 billion annually in lost ... read more
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