Nir Barkat, Israel’s Minister of Economy, warned Iran and Israel’s enemies they would “wipe them off the face of the earth” if they joined Hamas’ war against Israel.
Barkat’s warning came after Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hit northern Gaza with precision airstrikes targeting terrorist infrastructure.
Israel previously warned civilians to evacuate the areas before the attack.
Israel now prepares to enter Gaza for its ground offensive against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
However, fears have arisen that the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah could enter the war by attacking Israel from the north.
Barkat warned Iran that Israel will strike back if Hezbollah enters the war.
He added that not only will Israel “eliminate Hezbollah”, Israel will “actually target Iran” and will “wipe them out.”
“The plan of Iran is to attack Israel on all fronts,” he said.
“If we find they intend to target Israel, we will not just retaliate to those fronts, but we will go to the head of the snake, which is Iran,” he added.
“The Ayatollahs in Iran are not going to sleep good at night, we are going to make sure they pay a heavy price if, God forbid, they open the northern front.”
Barkat also said that Hezbollah and Lebanon will pay “a heavy price” if they dare join the war, “similar to what Hamas is going to pay,” but warned “that’s not enough.”
“The very clear message is that we are going to be going after the heads of Iran as well. When will we do that? When we decide,” he added.
“Israel has a very clear message to our enemies.”
“We are saying to them, look what’s happening in Gaza – you are going to get the same treatment if you attack us.”
“We are going to wipe you off the face of the Earth.'”
World War Three fears
Concerns are mounting that Hezbollah could fully enter the conflict, with growing speculation that the Iran-backed and well-armed Shia paramilitary group is ready to attack northern Israel when the ground assault is launched on the Gaza Strip.
US warships and at least one carrier are also in the region as part of “support” operations.
The USS Gerald Ford Carrier Strike Group's maneuvers in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea from October 10 to 21. pic.twitter.com/0gH7D63uJU— Duan Dang (@duandang) October 21, 2023
Other major global powers, including Russia and China, are showing their presence in the region, notably the ones that have criticized Israel’s impending Gaza assault.
Last week, the head of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, warned that American support for Israel could “make other actors intervene.”
“Our strategy towards the Zionist entity never changes: the removal of the Zionist entity,” Iranian Armed Forces Spokesman Brigadier-General Abolfazl Shekarchi said in 2021.
“Israel must be eliminated.”