An Israeli anti-war protester holds a sign asking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to bomb Iran during a demonstration in Tel Aviv on March 24, 2012.
Hundreds of Israelis have demonstrated in Tel Aviv to protest against a possible military strike on Iran and demand the resignation of Israeli premier and minister for military affairs.
Carrying signs condemning any strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the protesters gathered outside Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak’s residence on Sunday and called on him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign, DPA reported.
The demonstrators accused the officials of acting belligerently and pushing for war with Iran, saying the consequences of such action would be dire.
At a weekly cabinet meeting in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Sunday, Netanyahu told ministers that "all the threats directed at the home front are dwarfed by another threat of a different size and scope. And so I say again, Iran must not be allowed to attain nuclear weapons.”
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, however, criticized the public debate about a possible strike, noting that Israeli action on Iran would be premature at this stage.
"The Iranian nuclear project has not reached a level that forces Israel to act immediately or in the near future," Olmert said during a conference in northern Israel on Sunday.
"All this talk about how an attack is inevitable does not reflect the way things look to the security establishment. I would suggest listening closely to the people within the establishment," he added.
Last week, Israeli Labor Party leader Shelly Yechimovich said reports coming from the administration about Iran were worrisome.
"Of course, the political realm must make this decision. That said, when the heads of the armed forces, past and present, express strong opposition [to Netanyahu's strategy,] the lack of attention to their recommendations borders on the irresponsible," she said.
"The danger from Iran is indeed real, but it is a strategic mistake to turn this issue into one that is exclusively an Israeli problem," she added.
She noted that involving in a conflict along with the US government is another big mistake.
Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Tehran with a military strike to force it to halt its nuclear energy program, claimed by the duo to have been directed towards the acquisition of military nuclear capability.
Tehran, however, refutes such allegations as “baseless” and maintains that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Iranian officials have also promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.