Netanyahu’s proposal comes following a series of unpunished Iranian attacks and seizures of foreign oil-tankers, their recent attack on Saudi oil facilities and now Tehran’s accusation that Israel attempted an assassination on the IRGC commender.
By TZVI JOFFRE
In a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a massive air defense system to defend against Iranian attacks, especially cruise missiles like those used in attacks on a Saudi Arabian oil facility last month, according to KAN.
Last month, cruise missiles and explosive drones were used in an attack on two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike.
The attacks on the two facilities cut Saudi Arabia’s crude oil supply by around 5.7 million barrels per day, or about 50% of its output.
The plan proposed by Netanyahu will cost billions of shekels. Some of the funds for the project won’t be allocated officially until after a government is formed, assuming that there aren’t third elections.
The funds for the project will either come from cuts within the security establishment or from funds cut from social services. According to KAN, it’s more likely that the funds will be taken from social services.
Cabinet members were only informed on Saturday evening that the cabinet would meet on Sunday, according to Channel 12.
Reports of an attempt to assassinate the commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds force Qasem Soleimani may be used as an excuse to launch an attack against Israel.
The Iranian government claimed on Thursday that it had foiled an Arab-Israeli plot to assassinate Soleimani.
Hossein Ta’eb, the IRGC’s head of intelligence, said that three suspects in the alleged plot were arrested, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported.
The cabinet meeting was called in the wake of comments by the prime minister at the swearing in of the 22nd Knesset on Thursday.
“Today, we are facing a huge security challenge, which has grown with each passing week and has intensified over the last two months… Anyone with eyes in his head can see that Iran is getting stronger,” said Netanyahu.
Tovah Lazaroff, Anna Ahronheim and Reuters contributed to this report.
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