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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    Benjamin Netanyahu Says Israel to Defend Itself ‘By Any Means’ Amid Reports of Strikes on Tehran-Related Targets

    © AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner
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    Tensions have escalated in recent days after Israel carried out airstrikes on what it claimed were Iranian and Iran-backed fighters in Syria, with Tel Aviv also being blamed for airstrikes in Lebanon and Iraq. Soldiers in northern Israel have been placed on high alert over fears of reprisal attacks.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in a 17-second Hebrew-language YouTube video on Monday, vowing that Israel would continue to “defend its security by any means necessary”.

    ​“Iran is acting in a broad front to produce murderous terror attacks against Israel. Israel will continue to defend its security by any means necessary”, said Netanyahu.

    He also emphatically called on the international community to take action against what he called the regional threat posed by Tehran and its proxies.

    “I call on the international community to act immediately to ensure Iran stops these attacks”, the Israeli prime minister said.
    Tensions have shot up recently, as Tel Aviv has carried out airstrikes that have targeted what it described as Iranian forces and "Shiite militia targets" in Syria.

    Tensions have shot up recently, as Jerusalem carried out airstrikes that targeted what it described as Iranian forces and "Shiite militia targets" in Syria.

    The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) stated on 24 August that the strikes were aimed at stopping a "pending, large-scale attack of multiple killer drones on Israel".
    A spate of airstrikes in Lebanon and Iraq have also been blamed on Jerusalem, with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun saying that the attacks attributed to Israel were a “declaration of war”.

    Aoun made the statement during a meeting with UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis.

    “What happened resembles a declaration of war that entitles us to resort to our right to defend our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity”, Aoun said, according to Lebanese news outlet Naharnet.

    Aoun told Kubis that Israel was responsible for an early Monday morning attack on the Lebanese-Syrian border and a drone explosion in a suburb of Beirut the day before.

    The drone incident followed Israel taking responsibility for an airstrike in Syria that killed two Hezbollah members, with the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah vowing to retaliate.

    In Iraq, the Fatah Coalition called for the withdrawal of US troops from the country, saying on Monday that it holds the United States fully responsible for the reported Israeli strikes, “which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people”.

    The Times of Israel cites Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon as saying on Monday that some recent strikes in the region attributed to Israel “aren’t ours”.

    “We’ve gone through a tense and critical 72 hours. The prime minister once remarked that every explosion in the Middle East is attributed to Israel.
    I want to tell you that there are also things being attributed to us that aren’t ours. Since I cannot say what was us and what wasn’t, I’m saying that there are things being attributed to us that aren’t ours”, said Kahlon, a member of the high-level security cabinet.

    Over fears of retaliatory attacks, soldiers in northern Israel have been put on high alert.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday spoke to US Vice President Mike Pence, who said that the US backs Israel’s right to self-defence.

    “Had a great conversation with Prime Minister @netanyahu this morning. The United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself from imminent threats. Under President @realDonaldTrump, America will always stand with Israel!” Pence wrote on Twitter.

     

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    Tags:
    Moshe Kahlon, Lebanon, Syria, iran, Iran, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader, Hezbollah, Michel Aoun, Israel, Israel, Tehran, Benjamin Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu
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