Israel will send Lebanon back to the Stone Age, threatens minister
Speaking to London-based Elaph, a Saudi newspaper which is often described as Israel's media backdoor to the Arab world, Yisrael Katz urged the Arab world to unite against the "mutual Iranian threat" and suggested that should Israel go to war with Lebanon to curb Hizballah's influence, Israel would take its neighbour back to the "Stone Age".
"What happened in 2006 would be a picnic in nature compared to what we can do," Yisrael Katz said. "I recently remember that a Saudi minister said he would return Hizballah to the caves in the south, I say we will return Lebanon to the Stone Age."
"If necessary, military force against Hizballah can be used in the current situation, especially after Lebanon's prime minister Saad Hariri's step to resign from Riyadh," Katz added.
He added with Israel's "expansion", the whole of Lebanon could potentially be targeted, not just the southern region where Hizballah is cemented.
Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have official relations but various reports are emerging of co-operation between the two countries.
Speaking to Israel's Channel 10 last week, Katz claimed Trump's administration had coordinated the move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital with Arab leaders prior to the decision, to ensure they would help contain Palestinian and Arab reactions.
Regarding Saudi Arabia's position on Trump's move, Katz claimed Riyadh would take into account "shared security interests with Israel", particularly in relation to common foe Iran.
In its media coverage, Saudi Arabia last week ordered media outlets in the kingdom to not focus "too much attention" on Washington's controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, sources have said.
The Saudi royal court sent a "severe warning" to bosses of newspapers, television and radio stations about the issue which has sparked protests across the Arab world, sources told The New Arab on Thursday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, they added that the directive ordered media to instead "take aim at Iran and other regional countries" in its coverage rather than focusing on Israel.