Israel ramps up defences, fearing Iran's retaliation

Israeli occupation soldiers terrorise Palestinians during a military incursion in the Askar camp near occupied West Bank city of Nablus. (File Photo/Reuters)

The Israeli military has been strengthening its defences after a deadly Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus drew threats of retaliation, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatening harm to those who hurt Israel.

The Israeli army on Thursday announced a leave suspension and also said that, after an assessment, officials decided to increase manpower and draft reserve soldiers to operate air defences.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari confirmed the jamming of GPS signals, which is intended to defend against guided weapons like missiles or drones.

"We strengthened the alertness of combat units, where needed," Hagari said.

"We have reinforced the defence systems and we have aircraft prepared for defence and ready to attack in a variety of scenarios."

He spoke after the army paused leave for combat units, blocked GPS signals in certain places and strengthened "alertness" as its war on besieged Palestinians of Gaza nears its seventh month.

Tensions have been inflamed by Monday's strike against the Iranian consulate in Damascus that reportedly killed 16 people. Among the dead were seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards, two of them generals.

Meanwhile, embattled Israeli PM Netanyahu launched new threats against Iran.

"For years, Iran has been acting against us both directly and via its proxies; therefore, Israel is acting against Iran and its proxies, defensively and offensively," Netanyahu said.

"We will know how to defend ourselves and we will act according to the simple principle of whoever harms us or plans to harm us, we will harm them."

While invading and bombing Gaza since October last year, Israel has also stepped up strikes against Iranian personnel and allies in Syria and Lebanon.

Israel has traded near-daily cross-border fire with Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Israel has declined to comment on the Damascus strike but analysts saw it as an escalation of Israel's campaign against Iran in a bid to expand the regional tensions and Netentahu's last attempts to evade being unseated through judicial or electoral processes.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed in a social media message that "with God's help we will make the Zionists repent of their crime of aggression against the Iranian consulate in Damascus".

Genocide in Gaza

Hamas says its October 7 blitz on Israel that surprised its arch-enemy was orchestrated in response to Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque, illegal settler violence in occupied West Bank and to put Palestine question "back on the table."

The hours-long raid and Israeli military's haphazard reaction resulted in the killings of more than 1,100 people, Israeli officials and local media say.

Palestinian fighters took more than 250 hostages and presently 130 remain in Gaza, including 34 who the Israeli army says are dead, some of them killed by indiscriminate Israeli strikes.

Israel has since then killed more than 33,000 Palestinians — 70 percent of them babies, women and children — and wounded over 75,500 amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, starving.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 percent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to do more to prevent starvation crisis in Gaza. Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the rights situation in the Palestinian territories, said recently there were reasonable grounds to believe Israel was committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.


Source: TRT