Israel warns of strikes on Iranian and Hamas targets to stop the wave of terrorism – Defense News

The security cabinet issued a veiled warning about the Israeli army’s imminent strikes against Iranian and Hamas targets when it met amid a wave of violence on Tuesday.

“The security cabinet took a series of decisions to strike terrorists and those who send them,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said after the closed-door meeting, details of which were withheld from the public.

The Prime Minister’s Office said after the meeting that the decision “authorized the prime minister and defense minister to act accordingly”.

It did so after three Israelis were killed and another seriously wounded in two separate attacks on Saturday and Monday.

Is the wave of Palestinian terrorism linked to Iran?

For Israel, this wave of terror is directly linked to the growing military tensions with Tehran, which it believes is exploiting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—particularly by strengthening Hamas—to open a new front against Israel and retaliate against it for its air strikes against Iran. targets in Syria.

Israeli soldiers stand guard near a shooting site near Hebron in the West Bank on August 21, 2023 (Photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS)

“This is why we have seen an increase in terrorist attacks,” National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi told Army Radio on Tuesday.

In the aftermath of Monday’s attack, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant took the unusual step of visiting the site of the attack, which took place on the edge of the remote South Hebron Hill area in the West Bank.

Netanyahu and Gallant warned that Iran and its proxies were behind the wave of terror, and the prime minister issued a statement similar to that of Tuesday’s security cabinet meeting.

“We are using means, and we will use more means, offensive and defensive, to settle scores with the murderers and those who send them, near and far,” Netanyahu said.

The Syrian news agency, SANA, reported that Israel launched late Monday, out of concern for the region, missiles targeting the vicinity of Syrian Damascus, wounding a Syrian soldier and causing some material damage.

Strategically, Israel has launched attacks against what it says are Iranian-linked targets in Syria, to prevent Tehran’s growing influence from entrenching itself in the war-torn country.

Aiming to increase its ability to attack Israel, Iranian state media reported on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic has built a domestically made UAV called Mohajer-10 with an enhanced range and flight duration as well as a larger payload that has the ability to attack Israel.

Hanegbi said the security cabinet will discuss issues facing Israel, particularly Iran and Hamas.

Hanegbi said Iran was frustrated by its limited ability to counter Israel’s decade-old policy of attacking Iranian military targets in Syria.

He added that Tehran could not respond directly from Syria or Iran. Hanegbi said that Israel therefore decided to fund and arm Islamic Jihad and Hamas to act against Israel.

Hanegbi said, “Iran finances, arms, and transfers its power in general to the region, and Hamas leads terrorism in the West Bank.”

He added that this made weapons, especially weapons, more available to terrorist groups.

He said, “We have said that we will settle accounts with the (terrorism) senders, and I have detailed the whereabouts of the senders – in Gaza and in Iran.”

The security cabinet met as settler leaders and a number of right-wing politicians called for an expanded military operation in the West Bank, such as Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, to eradicate terrorism, as well as for the Israeli army to take steps to suppress terrorism. Increased security on the roads.

A number of the Yesha Council’s key leaders gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday to call for such a campaign.

Samaria Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan said, “We demand the immediate launch of a comprehensive military operation… throughout Judea and Samaria and wherever necessary. There is no magic in the war on terror. This is what worked last time, and this is also what will work now.”

The head of the Binyamin Regional Council, Israel Ganz, said that Israeli military actions “should be more frequent and with greater force.”

Settler leaders called on the government to impose strict measures on the Palestinians, including closing towns and villages that house terrorists and their cells.

Hanegbi told Army Radio that the military action required in 2002 cannot be compared to the type of campaign required today, especially in light of the presence of larger forces here such as Iranian military and financial support.

Today, Tuesday, the Israeli army continued its operations to stop terrorism in the West Bank. In the morning, the security forces arrested two Palestinians suspected of killing Batsheva Negri, 42, after they hit the car she was traveling in with bullets. The driver and her daughter survived the attack.

Separately, the Israeli army killed a Palestinian activist during clashes that followed a raid in the West Bank on Tuesday, the armed group Islamic Jihad said.

The IDF said the suspects had thrown explosives at soldiers in the clashes near Jenin and that the forces had responded with live ammunition.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death of one person. Dozens of mourners marched at the funeral of the gunman, some of whom were masked gunmen who fired their rifles into the air.

The Islamic Jihad Movement said, “We will not confront our enemy except with bullets and resistance.”

The cabinet made it clear that the fight against terrorism would be led by Netanyahu and Galant. During the meeting, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir called on Israel and the IDF to impose restrictions on Palestinians similar to those proposed by settler leaders, but added, such as additional checkpoints on roads, and the closure of towns and villages that harbor terrorists. their cells and harsh conditions for prisoners.

Ben Jvir also called for a return to targeted killings of Palestinian terror leaders in the West Bank. Gallant refused his request.

“You are living in a fantasy movie,” Ben Gvir shouted to Gallant. “People are being killed here, a mother (was killed) in front of her daughter.”

During the debate, according to Channel 11, Gallant also raised the issue of public attacks against army chiefs in recent weeks, noting that this gave terror groups the impression that the IDF was weak and gave them an incentive to take action against Israel. .

After the meeting, the security cabinet issued a statement in support of the IDF, stating that it supports IDF commanders and soldiers and “members of the security services in their actions against terrorist elements on behalf of the security of Israel’s citizens.” Israel.”

The security cabinet was originally scheduled to meet in September, but instead convened on Tuesday in light of the wave of terrorism.

And I met on the same day that Gallant hosted the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, who said, “He is one of the most important and true friends of the State of Israel, as well as a partner in our mutual relationship.” The task of achieving stability and security.

Gallant said, “The State of Israel recognizes and appreciates General Milley’s cooperation in the framework of joint efforts in confronting the Iranian threat, in the overt and covert activities that shaped our region.”

Reuters contributed to this report

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