Israeli planes fly to Gibraltar area 'to rehearse strike on Iran's nuclear facilities,' said reports at the weekend

Israeli Air Force planes recently staged manoeuvres between Israel and Gibraltar, in preparation for attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, the French weekly L'Express reported at the weekend. The French report has been picked up and reproduced in other international media.

The report said that while the United States is talking about a dialogue with Iran , Israel may be preparing for the second option: Israel Air Forces planes recently staged the exercise some 3,800 kilometres (2,361 miles) away from Israel and proves that the Israel Defence Forces plans to strike in Iran if Tehran continues with its refusal to cooperate with the international community in regards to its nuclear plan according to the report.

US secretary of defence Robert Gates has been quoted as saying that a military strike on Tehran's nuke facilities would merely 'buy time,' push Iranian programme deeper underground; UN sanctions is the 'only way to eliminate Iranian determination to have nuclear weapons,' he says.

But two weeks ago, the London Sunday Times reported that the Israeli military was preparing to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government.

Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid, requiring pinpoint aerial strikes, were the acquisition of three Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack, the report said.

Israeli Air Force reservists who operate the Arrow and Patriot missile defence systems have recently begun spending one day a week on duty to sharpen their skills, amid fears that in a conflict with Iran, dozens of long-range missiles would be fired at Israel, The Jerusalem Post says it has learned.
"We are working hard to be ready for the Iranian threat," a top IAF officer told the paper. " We need to retain a high operational level by everyone, including reservists."

? This is not the first time that there has been a mention of 'Israeli military aircraft flying to Gibraltar', but in the past this has been interpreted to mean that aircraft may have flown to the 'Strait of Gibraltar area' and back to Israel, but NOT to Gibraltar itself.