Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday morning with opposition leader Yair Lapid to update him on the goals and details of “Operation Shield and Arrow.” Netanyahu’s Military Secretary Maj. Gen. Avi Gil also attended the meeting.
In a show of unity, Lapid on Tuesday extended his backing for the IDF operation. “The terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip were made aware this morning that the intelligence community and security forces are monitoring their every move, and that the account with them will be closed,” said Lapid.
“A firm Israeli response at a time and place that is good for us is the way to deal with terror from Gaza. We will back all operational activity to protect the residents of the South.” Palestinian terrorist factions were preparing a coordinated response to Israel’s targeted killing on Tuesday of three senior Islamic Jihad leaders in the Gaza Strip.
Sources in Hamas told Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah Al-Akhbar newspaper that “the leadership of the resistance has put all options on the table” and “the response will be unified through the joining military of the resistance factions, and it will teach the occupation [Israel] a great lesson, and the responses will not be limited to a specific faction or a specific front, but rather all fronts are nominated to participate in the response.”
Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab were also quoted as saying that “the response will be unified.” Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel was prepared for a broad conflict against Iran and its terrorist proxies.
“We are dealing with an attempt by Iran to start a multi-front campaign against us. I instructed the IDF and security forces to be prepared for this fight. … If we need to, we will,” he added.
The premier later told ministers at the beginning of a Security Cabinet session that Jerusalem would react forcefully to any attacks. “Our principle is clear: Whoever harms us, we will strike at them and with great force. Our long arm will reach every terrorist at a time and place of our choosing,” Netanyahu said. “We are in the midst of a campaign. We are prepared for all possibilities. I suggest that our enemies not test us,” he said.
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