Outgoing Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz told military journalists on Tuesday that he was not worried so much about Iranian or Palestinian threats as the rising extremism in Israel, the Jerusalem Post has reported.
"We have an excellent army and a security system with amazing operational capabilities. When you call the IDF or the Ministry of Defence they answer," Gantz explained. "But what really bothers me is not related to security, but the extremism in Israeli society."
According to the Jerusalem Post, Gantz is expected to be replaced by Likud MK Yoav Gallant or the head of the Religious Zionism bloc, Bezalel Smotrich, following last week's General Election in Israel.
Despite apparently downgrading his concerns about Iran, Gantz pointed out that Israel has the capabilities to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, but incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must consider the issue "carefully" before giving the order, reported the Times of Israel.
"Israel has the ability to act in Iran. We have the readiness, development capabilities, and long-term plans we are managing. We need to prepare for this possibility, and we will also need to consider this issue very carefully before carrying it out."
Such preparations are believed to cost over NIS 7 billion ($2bn), said the former Chief of the General Staff. He reiterated that the option to strike Iran "should be considered very carefully before implementation."
READ: Outgoing DM warns of rising extremism in Israel