The Israeli Prime Minister has put Iran at the top of his re-election campaign. Benjamin Netanyahu pledged that halting Tehran’s nuclear programme would be his main priority as leader.
“The state of Israel faces huge challenges and I have to tell you this honestly before the elections. Iran is still advancing in its nuclear programme. Hezbollah and Hamas equip themselves with rockets. Radical Islam is taking over the region. It makes regimes collapse one after the other.” he told supporters at a rally in Tel Aviv.
The West accuses Iran of trying to build a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of its energy program. Iran has always denied this.
Settlement building also carries political weight at election times. Last Monday, Israel approved the latest in a series of construction plans for around 5000 jewish homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This is seen by many as a response to the UN decision to upgrade the Palestinians to the status of observer state at the organisaion.