Sunday, May 20, 2018

Israel prepared military for Iran attack in 2010, TV report says

JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister and defense minister tried to move their country closer to an attack on Iran in 2010 but military and security chiefs resisted, an Israeli television program reported Monday.

The Channel 2 television magazine Fact said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the military to enter a level of preparedness reportedly code for preparing for a military strike.

It remained unclear whether they intended to follow through with a strike or just wanted to signal that Israel was prepared to make such a move. Ultimately the instructions to the military were dropped.

In a taped interview after the segment, Netanyahu told Fact that he was "not eager to go to war." He said he would be "very happy" to see international sanctions force Iran to rein in its nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful in intent but Israel, the United States and others fear will produce nuclear weapons.

In the feature, which aired Monday night, a veteran Israeli investigative journalist reported that the order was given somewhat casually. But the army chief of staff and the head of intelligence agency Mossad resisted the instruction, the report said.

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