(Worthy News) - Israel’s Channel 2 TV reported Aug. 21 that a plan for Israel to strike Iranian nuclear facilities was blocked on three separate occasions in recent years.
In an audio recording of former defense minister Ehud Barak obtained by the TV station, Barak said that he drew up the attack plans against Iran, and they were approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He said Israeli army chief Gabi Ashkenazi blocked one planned attack in 2010, by refusing to certify that the army was prepared to carry out the attack.
A second attack was aborted when hawkish Israeli ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Yuval Steinitz withdrew support, he said, while in 2012, Israel decided the timing was bad for an attack because of a U.S.-Israel military exercise. [ Source ]
Israel's leaders 'furious' over Barak tapes describing aborted plans to hit Iran
In the tapes, whose broadcast Barak fought unsuccessfully to block, he claims that he and Netanyahu wanted to attack Iran in 2010, but that then-chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi indicated that there was no viable plan for such an operation; that they were thwarted in 2011 by the opposition of fellow ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Yuval Steinitz; and that a planned 2012 strike was aborted because it happened to coincide with a joint Israel-US military exercise and Israel did not want to drag the US into the fray.
In the aftermath of the broadcast of the tapes, Channel 2 said Saturday, various key Israeli figures indicated that Ashkenazi did not rule out an operation as decisively as Barak suggested, and that a great deal of preparatory work had been done. Furthermore, the TV report Saturday said, Ashkenazi was by no means the only senior Israeli figure who was not decisively supportive of a strike at that time. Others included then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who later made public his opposition, and top ministers including Dan Meridor and Eli Yishai.
Channel 2 also suggested that Barak may be playing party politics with his comments. Ashkenazi is said to be considering entering politics, and Barak, who has now retired from politics, may be out to thwart him. The two became bitter rivals over the years, and Barak’s relationship with current defense minister Ya’alon has also been tempestuous. [ Source ]