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Israel uses anti-terror conference in Morocco to rally world against Iran

Israel used its participation in an international anti-terrorism conference in Morocco last week, which was dedicated mainly to the re-emerging threat from al-Qaeda, to call for stronger action against Iran.

Upon returning to Israel from the two-day conference in Marrakech, Dana Benvenisti-Gabay, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s regional security and counter-terrorism department, said she and some of Arab delegates at the conference used the opportunity to stress the threat emanating from the Islamic Republic and its Shiite proxies.

“The main topic of the conference was al-Qaeda, but I can say that Iran’s malign behavior came up, as well as Hezbollah,” Benvenisti-Gabay told The Times of Israel on Monday, referring to the Tehran-backed, Lebanon-based terrorist organization.

“On this issue, we agreed with the representatives from the Gulf states, which led to a joint effort that, even if it was not coordinated in advance, [saw] the Iranian threat being included in the concluding statement issued by the US State Department.”

At the conclusion of the so-called Warsaw Process Counterterrorism and Illicit Finance working group, which took place Wednesday and Thursday in Marrakesh, the State Department issued a statement that referred to both the Sunni al-Qaeda group as well as Iran, the most powerful Shiite nation in the region.

“Delegations discussed the ever-changing threat posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliates and acknowledged a range of efforts that can be employed to counter this still potent threat, including the promotion of a set of non-binding principles,” the statement read.

“Participants shared their regional perspectives on countering al-Qaeda and discussed threats from other terrorist groups. A number of delegations also noted the destabilizing activities of Iran and its proxies, especially Hezbollah, and the need to collectively confront Iran’s continued support to terrorist groups.”

Benvenisti-Gabay devoted most of her speech to Hezbollah, which she described as a “designated terror organization, financed and supplied by Iran, operating in Lebanon, using the Lebanese state’s resources for its own needs and using the Lebanese people as human shields.”

Hezbollah has an arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles that could hit any target anywhere in Israel, she told delegates from more than 50 countries and international organizations.