“Israel has the right and the ability to defend itself. If pushed to the corner, I assume it will know how to do so”, quoted Israel’s former Chief of Staff and former Israeli Air Force Commander, Dan Halutz. This was said during an interview that Halutz gave today at the Alhurra Television Network.

Haltuz headed the Israeli Defense Forces during the Second Lebanon War and eventually resigned following the Winograd report.

In the interview, when asked about Israel’s existence in light of the Iranian nuclear threat, Halutz replied that Israel, like any other country, has the right to manage its security needs independently, and to defend its citizens accordingly.

Halutz added that Israel has proven many times in the past that “when a sword was placed to its neck, it knew to rise on its feet and do what needed to be done”. He warned that he doesn’t recommend to any nation to test Israel’s abilities.

This interview poses a change in Halutz’s publicly expressed opinions, as Halutz has repeatedly said many times in the past that Israel should not take it upon itself to be the flag-bearer of the West against Tehran, and that Israel may lack the military means for successful preemptive strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.