Israel braces for retaliation after assassination of top Iranian commander, closes popular ski resort

The popular Mount Hermon ski resort in the Golan Heights has been closed amid Israel fears that Iran might retaliate through its regional allies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon or through Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. 

By World Israel News Staff

In the wake of the assignation of Iran’s Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Israel is bracing for an Iranian retaliation against the Jewish State, said Israel Army Radio on Friday.

According to Israel Army Radio, Israel fears that Iran might retaliate through its regional allies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon or through Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s office, all ministry officials have been instructed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to give any interviews regarding the situation.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who served as acting prime minister in Netanyahu’s absence, has called together Israel’s military and security chiefs to the Defense Ministry Tel Aviv for a “situational assessment.”

Israeli military spokesman Avichay Adraee tweeted Friday that the popular Mount Hermon ski resort in the Golan Heights has been closed “following an assessment of the situation,” and Israel’s Foreign Ministry is beefing up security at Israeli embassies and missions around the world.

A columnist for The Jerusalem Post suggests that the Mossad might have played a part in assisting the U.S. with tracking Soleimani.

Early Friday morning, a U.S. armed drone killed Soleimani, 62, and others as they traveled from Baghdad’s international airport.

The U.S. Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

The Associated Press reports that two officials from Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said Suleimani’s body was torn to pieces in the attack, and a senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.

The PMF is blaming the United States and Israel for the Iranian general’s death.

“The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” said PMF spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.