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Top Israeli officials hold urgent meetings on unspecified ‘security incidents’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will cut short his trip to Berlin following an unexplained bombing in northern Israel earlier in the week.

From left: Israel Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi visit the IAF control center, Jan. 25, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
From left: Israel Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi visit the IAF control center, Jan. 25, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has held several situational assessments over the past 36 hours with regard to unspecified “security incidents.”

On Wednesday, Gallant briefed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the security developments, ahead of the latter’s departure for a diplomatic visit to Germany.

Netanyahu’s office announced shortly thereafter that the premier would be returning from Berlin on Thursday evening and not on Friday morning as originally scheduled.

Gallant’s office released an unusually cryptic statement on Tuesday evening, revealing that the meetings were attended by top-ranking officials, including Israel Defense Forces chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Ronen Bar.

According to the statement, the officials presented Gallant with preliminary findings related to the incidents, and that the defense minister had instructed them to “continue efforts to ensure the daily routine of Israeli citizens.”

The development comes after Israeli authorities launched an investigation into an explosion in northern Israel on Monday that seriously wounded a man driving along the Route 65 highway at the Megiddo Junction. Shareef ad-Din, from the Arab town of Salem, was wounded when an explosive device detonated at around 6 a.m. in an apparent roadside bombing.

The Shin Bet’s involvement in the probe suggests that the defense establishment believes the bombing may have been an act of terrorism.

However, it remains unclear whether the bombing is one of the incidents that prompted the situational assessments.

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