00:41 GMT +319 January 2019
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    'Octopus Doctrine': Israeli Minister Wants Iran to 'Pay a Price'

    © AFP 2018 / JACK GUEZ
    Middle East
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    Tel Aviv considers Iran to be the "main threat to Israel's security." An Israeli minister has proposed to target what he has described as an "octopus" instead of its "tentacles."

    Israeli security cabinet minister Naftali Bennett has called for a new strategy toward Tehran, saying, "Our message to Iran: the era of your immunity while you send others and use your national resources to hurt Israel is over."

    Bennet, who has been serving as Education Minister since 2015, said that Israel should treat attacks from Lebanon-based Shiite movement Hezbollah, which helps the Syrian government fight terrorists, as if they were carried out by Iran.

    Speaking at the Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv, the minister said, "We will also not sit idly and watch the accumulation of accurate missiles in Lebanon. Between 2006 and 2012, Hezbollah made a massive leap in the quantities of its rockets, and now has over 130,000. We will not allow it to make a qualitative leap. This strategy means Iran, the Quds Force and the host countries will pay a price."

    When presenting the so-called 'Octopus Doctrine,' he voiced his belief that the Israeli government has been making a mistake by what he described as targeting the "tentacles" instead of the "octopus."

    READ MORE: Israel to Simulate War With Hezbollah in Largest Military Exercise in Decades

    Bennet has also called for considering attacks, for which Hezbollah is responsible, a declaration of war by Lebanon. "[Syrian President Bashar] Assad will bear responsibility for actions taking place in and from his territory," he added.

    "I believe adopting the Octopus Doctrine, the core of which is acting against the Quds Forces and Iran, while weakening Iran's hold on Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, has the highest chances of preventing war, or shortening it if it breaks out," Bennett concluded.

    Tel Aviv considers Iran to be the "main threat" to Israel regardless of the 2015 nuclear deal as the Mossad chief stated in 2017, while Tehran doesn't recognize the Jewish state and regards it as an "enemy."

    The Israeli leadership has repeatedly said that it "won't allow" Iran to have a military presence in Syria and suggested that the Islamic Republic had a base in the country.

    READ MORE: Mossad Chief: Israel Has 'Eyes and Ears' on the Ground in Iran

    Tehran has repeatedly denied reports of having a base in Syria as well as conducting military operations there, however, stressed its cooperation with the country's leadership in the fight against various terrorist groups, including Daesh, and acts as one of the guarantors of the ceasefire in the Arab Republic jointly with Russia and Turkey.

    While Syria and Israel, which have never signed a peace treaty, have repeatedly exchanged multiple tit-for-tat attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with the country's defense minister stated that Tel Aviv is free to act in Syria for the sake of its security.

    Hezbollah, Bashar al-Assad, Iran, Israel, Syria, Lebanon
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