IDF determined to counter Iran in north despite danger of escalation

Netanyahu also reassured the public that Israel continues to take action on all fronts, “both openly and covertly, on land, sea, and in the air.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The general consensus from the government’s Security Cabinet meeting on Sunday was that the IDF must concentrate on the danger threatening the country from the north, although it would not ignore attacks coming from the Gaza Strip, either.

“We are in a very sensitive and volatile security period on several fronts – north, east and south,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the meeting, which came on the heels of the IDF’s retaliation against Hamas in Gaza on Friday night.

“We will continue to take action on all fronts for the security of the State of Israel, both openly and covertly, on land, sea, and in the air,” Netanyahu said.

However, the government’s senior echelon is in agreement that the most dangerous enemy currently facing Israel is Iran, working directly through its Revolutionary Guard forces in Syria as well as via its proxies, like Hezbollah in Lebanon.

According to Israel Hayom, a knowledgeable source said that Israel’s activity against Iran “has not halted and will not halt.”

This is despite the fact that a serious escalation in the North could result, said the report.

This concern is causing Israel to be much more circumspect in its action against Hamas in Gaza, even though it, too, is an Iranian client, as is the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is directly controlled by Iran and is suspected of being behind the latest round of rocket fire.

The Israeli Air Force struck several of Hamas’ military compounds after 10 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening, with one hitting a house in the city of Sderot. An elderly woman was reportedly injured running for cover.

There is a question whether the caretaker status of the government will impact Israel’s decision-making abilities. Netanyahu said it would not, but Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz in a Monday interview said, “Political instability hurts state functions.”

Blue and White party head Benny Gantz said after the Gaza rocket barrage that he would act even more firmly against Hamas than Netanyahu.

“A government led by me will not bear a threat against the residents of the South and will not accept any undermining of Israel’s sovereignty,” Gantz tweeted on Saturday, a message he repeated at a rally in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening.

“We will return deterrence at any cost, even if we have to kill those who lead the escalation. At this time, we will support and back any firm and responsible retaliatory policy in order to bring long-term quiet to the residents of the South.”

According to Israel’s Channel 11, the Security Cabinet also discussed the possibility of returning to targeted assassinations.