Israel Trying to Stay Out of U.S.-Iran Confrontation

YERUSHALAYIM -
Flight deck personnel stand on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln which has been sent to the Gulf region in the current crisis. (Reuters/Jumana El Heloueh/File Photo)

As the chances of a military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran have grown in recent days, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has directed his senior defense officials to steer clear of it.

In urgent consultations, Netanyahu told them “to take steps to separate Israel from these developments” and to work “at all cost” to keep Israel out of the situation, Israel’s Channel 13 news reported on Wednesday, citing senior Israeli officials.

Despite ongoing threats issued by Iranian leaders against Israel, the assessment at the meeting was that there were no immediate indications that Iran or proxies will attack Israel. At the same time, all necessary precautions were being taken in the event of hostilities.

Israel has kept in close contact with the Trump administration during the crisis, including phone conversations between Netanyahu and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat with his U.S. counterpart John Bolton.

The Prime Minister’s Office would neither confirm or deny the report, except to say that Netanyahu and Pompeo are in frequent contact, often about Iran.