Israel is active on all fronts to ensure its national security interests, Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold said in a rare interview with a Saudi publication. 

Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold confirmed that the IDF has thwarted attempts to transfer advanced weapons to the Hezbollah terror organization in Lebanon. This is the first time an Israeli official has openly made such a statement.

In a rare interview to the Saudi-owned Elaph news site, Gold said Israel was successful in thwarting an attempt to transfer Russian-made SA-22 missiles to Lebanon.

“We in Israel did not take sides and did not interfere in the Syrian war,” Gold said in the interview. “We have interests that we will protect, and red lines. When we saw that there are those who wanted to transfer Russian missiles from Syrian warehouses to Hezbollah, we had to disrupt that activity, and we will not allow it.”

Gold declined to comment on reports that Israel’s Air Force (IAF) has bombed Syrian military targets, but underscored that “Israel has not and will not allow anyone to violate its sovereignty, nor will it allow the transfer of weapons that would undermine Israel’s air supremacy.”

Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu alluded to Israeli actions in Syria in an address earlier this month. “We operate in Syria from time to time to prevent it from becoming a second terror front against us,” he said.

“We are also acting, of course, to prevent the transfer of deadly weapons from Syria to Lebanon in particular, and we will continue to do so,” he added.

Relating to threats leveled against Israel by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization in Syria, Gold simply stated that “Israel knows how to defend itself.”

Turning to the threat posed by Iran in wake of the nuclear deal, Gold said that Israel shares “common interests” with the Arab world in the Middle East “concerning the Iranian threat, not only Tehran’s nuclear program, but also Iran’s activities on the ground, and its repeated attempts to use the Shiite sect in the Arab world, to make them a fifth column among those states.”

Regarding recent reports of a normalization of ties between Israel and Turkey, Gold conceded that “there are intensive talks.”

“There are issues that have been agreed upon and issues that are still under dispute, but things are moving in the right direction,” he said, according to a translation of the interview by Ynet. “Turkish and Israeli interests converge because of what is happening in the region – economic, security and regional interests, so I don’t believe things will drag on, but we have not set a date for the final agreement. The regional situation leaves us no choice but to agree on the most important points, and our teams are working on this basis.”

By: United with Israel Staff

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