With Chuck Hagel scheduled to begin his first visit to Israel as secretary of defense on Sunday, Israeli defense and military officials issued explicit warnings this week that Israel was prepared and had the capability to carry out a lone military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also spoke of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat in an interview with the BBC broadcast on Thursday. Israel has “different vulnerabilities and different capabilities” than the United States,” he said. “We have to make our own calculations, when we lose the capacity to defend ourselves by ourselves.”