JERUSALEM, Israel -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel does not need an okay from the United States to attack Iran's nuclear weapons facilities.
"Israel has never left its fate in the hands of others, not even in the hands of our best friends," Netanyahu said in a recent address to the Knesset.
He noted Israel's decision to destroy an unfinished nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, which even President Ronald Reagan initially condemned.
In the end, relations between us "grew even stronger," Netanyahu said.
The prime minister said Iran was behind last weekend's rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.
"The dominant element driving events in Gaza is not the Palestinians but Iran, who is building the infrastructures, provides the money, and sometimes gives the orders," he said.
Netanyahu said Israel's decision to withdraw from northern Gaza in August 2005 opened the door for Iran.
"As soon as we were out, Iran went in," he said.
"A nuclear Iran would represent an existential threat on the state of Israel and the safety of the entire world," Netanyahu warned.
"Are you ready for that? I'm not. Every leader knows this cannot be allowed to pass," he continued. "An Israeli prime minister cannot hand over the ability to act against this threat to others."
*Originally aired on March 16, 2012.