Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
warned Likud ministers on Sunday that speaking out about a possible strike on Iran
could be damaging to Israel
and detrimental to the global efforts to compel the Islamic Republic to abandon its atom weapon ambitions.
Referring to several recent politicians' statements that caused a stir in the international media, most notably by Defense Minister Ehud Barak
and Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Netanyahu urged the ministers to stay clear of remarks on the Iranian issue.
"The chatter causes extensive damage, puts Israel on the front line and impedes the sanction efforts," he said during a Likud ministers' meeting.
Barak said last week that if sanctions on Iran fail, the international community would have to consider other options, while Ya'alon claimed that the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities
are vulnerable to an attack. The two were speaking at the Herzliya Conference on security.
During Sunday's meeting, the prime minister addressed recent developments in the Middle East, noting that Israel must stay strong in the face of turmoil.
"Over the past few days we've been reminded about the environment in which we live," he said. "We've heard the Iranian leader's
statements about destroying Israel, and we've seen the Syrian army slaughtering its own people.
"In this region, the only thing that ensures our existence, security and prosperity is power. We are committed to the continued cultivation of the State of Israel's military, economic and social power."
Also in the meeting, Netanyahu assured the ministers that Likud won't grow more extreme in its right-wing policies due to Moshe Feiglin's
gains in the party's primaries and the joining of hundreds of settlers to its central committee.
"I don't think that the Likud is becoming more right-wing," he said. "The supposition that Feiglin could have on effect on the Knessest list isn't based in reality."
Netanyahu won last week's primaries with 77% of the votes, while his opponent, Feiglin, received the remaining 23%.
Omri Efraim contributed to the report