‘Don’t test us with holiday terror attacks,’ Israel warns Hamas

Defense Minister says terror groups who attack Israel during holiday period will face “crushing” response.

By World Israel News Staff

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued a warning to terror groups plotting attacks during the upcoming Jewish High Holidays period, promising a “crushing” response to those seeking to harm Israelis.

Gallant held a major defense assessment with senior military and intelligence officials last week, which included IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, COGAT head Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, and the deputy director of the Shin Bet security agency, who was not identified by name for security purposes.

During the meeting, Gallant acknowledged a major spike in terror in recent months and said that Israel is currently in “a complex security period in all the areas, and especially in [Judea and Samaria] and surrounding Jerusalem.”

Referencing a history of terror groups ramping up attempts at attacks during the festivities, Gallant said that “during this period, there will be those who will try to harm us under the auspices of the holidays,” according to Hebrew-language media reports.

“Against the terror elements, we will take defensive actions, and if an offensive is required, we will do so in a crushing manner,” he continued.

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“I suggest to all the terror elements, in Judea and Samaria, in Gaza, in Lebanon, or anywhere else, don’t test us,” he added.

Notably, Gallant also warned the Gaza-based Hamas terror group not to launch rockets from the coastal enclave at Israel, suggesting that there may be specific intelligence regarding that scenario.

Gallant also said that Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, who are frequent targets of terror attacks while driving on roads outside of their communities, would receive extra protection during the holiday period.

“In order to make sure that the citizens of Israel will get through the holiday season safely, the defense establishment is being widely deployed, in intelligence, in the protection of the roads and settlements, and in operations to foil terror operatives and those who send them,” he said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry recently issued warnings to Israelis planning to spend the holidays abroad, stating that Iranian-backed terror groups are targeting citizens for kidnapping.