Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a direct warning Sunday to the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror group, saying it and its host nation would pay dearly for any assault on Israel.
"If Hezbollah dares attack Israel, the organization and the State of Lebanon -- which allows attacks from its territory against us -- will pay a heavy price,” Netanyahu told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
“A senior member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened Iran would destroy Tel Aviv from Lebanon and revealed a truth - that Hezbollah is the proxy wing of Iran in Lebanon
Speaking at the first cabinet meeting held since the Knesset dissolved and lawmakers voted to hold the third round of elections in a 12-month period on March 2, Netanyahu vowed that "energetic" government work would continue.
"I regret that we are entering a third election campaign, unnecessary elections which have been forced on the country," he said. "As you can see, the government is continuing to work energetically in all of the important areas of activity, with security first and foremost."
The premier also congratulated British counterpart Boris Johnson for his landslide victory at the polls on Thursday, calling it “a crushing victory in the fight against anti-Semitism."
Johnson's main opponent, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, has been repeatedly accused of allowing anti-Semitism to fester unchecked in the party since he took over. Johnson's Conservative party won a decisive victory on Thursday, however, with Corbyn pledging to resign the leadership on an unspecified date.
“I expect to continue the work on strengthening Israel’s excellent relationship with Britain, which is apparent in our trade and tourism relations, and I tell you is apparent in the security issue of fighting against terrorism as well,” the prime minister said.
The Israeli media reported Sunday that Jerusalem had been planning to recall its ambassador to Britain for consultations as a first step should Corbyn have won.