MOSCOW, Jan. 25 (Sputnik) - Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat said Wednesday that Iran has become a "legitimate target" for Israel's missile strikes for supporting armed movements opposing Israel.

"Iran is a legitimate target for Israel ... The head of the snake is Tehran. My recommendation is to adopt the strategy that [US] President [John F.] Kennedy used in the Cuban missile crisis. What he basically said then was a missile from Cuba will be answered with a missile to Moscow ... And we should very very clearly make sure the Iranians understand that they will not get away with using proxies against Israel," Barkat said in an interview with The Telegraph.

Barkat told the newspaper that Israel could afford to keep fighting and open up a new front with Lebanon despite military spending of over $250 million a day. He also said that the war in Gaza had not been fought "aggressively enough."

The minister added that Palestinians from the West Bank would never be allowed to work in Israel again and would be replaced by over 250,000 workers from abroad.

On October 7, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip while its fighters breached the border, opening fire on the military and civilians. As a result, over 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others abducted. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza and launched a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 20,000 people have been killed so far in Gaza as a result of Israeli strikes, local authorities said.

On November 24, Qatar mediated a deal between Israel and Hamas on a temporary truce and the exchange of some of the prisoners and hostages, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. The ceasefire was extended several times and expired on December 1.

Photo from AP