JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel is not threatened by Islamic State and Iran is a larger threat to his country, Israel’s defence minister said.
Islamic State does not have any significant activity in Israel or the West Bank, Moshe Ya’alon 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. Ya’alon 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,” Ya’alon 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, Ya’alon 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.”