Israel’s defense chief: Iran a bigger threat to Israel than Islamic State


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is not threatened by Islamic State and Iran is a larger threat to his country, Israel’s defense minister said.

Islamic State does not have any significant activity in Israel or the West Bank, Moshe Yaalon said Monday in an interview with Israel Radio that was widely reported in other Israeli news outlets. He acknowledged, however, there are a few ISIS cells in the West Bank. Yaalon said Israel has deterred Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, from attacking from Syria.

“Daesh hasn’t opened a front against us because they would simply get hurt,” Yaalon said, using the Arabic acronym of Islamic State.

He told Israel Radio that “a few dozen” Arab-Israelis have gone to fight with ISIS In Syria, but that it is “under control.”

On the Iran threat, Yaalon said, according to the Times of Israel, “Iran’s presence around us worries me, the fact that what is happening in Syria is empowering Iran. And over the past year we’ve worked to prevent Iran opening a front on the Golan.”

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