Minister warns of attacks on Israel if tensions between US, Iran escalate

Minister warns of attacks on Israel if tensions between US, Iran escalate
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Direct or proxy Iranian attacks on Israel are possible should the stand-off between Iran and the United States get worse, an Israeli cabinet minister warned on Sunday.

“If there’s some sort of conflagration between Iran and the United States, between Iran and its neighbors, I’m not ruling out that they will activate Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad from Gaza, or even that they will try to fire missiles from Iran at the State of Israel,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Israel’s Ynet TV, according to Reuters.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE’s government has so far kept quiet about growing unease between the United States and Iran.

The tensions could represent a future threat to Israel, a U.S. ally that contends with Iranian-sponsored militant groups including Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad on its borders.

The Trump administration announced last week that it would deploy the carrier strike group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln to the Persian Gulf along with a bomber task force to address “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” from Iran.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said that the U.S. will not take military action in the region unless Iranian military forces or allied militia groups attempt such an act first.

But tensions escalated further when a high-ranking cleric in the Iranian government claimed on Friday that the carrier strike group could be destroyed by a single missile fired from Iran.

The Trump administration has also increased economic sanctions on Iran and threatened further action.

The Israeli military would not comment when asked by Reuters if it was preparing for any possible attacks stemming from to the Iran-U.S. standoff.