update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu warns Iran: Israel knows how to defend itself

The Jewish state "will act according to the simple principle that whoever hurts us or plans to hurt us—we will hurt him," said the premier.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his office at the Knesset in Jerusalem, March 13, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his office at the Knesset in Jerusalem, March 13, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly addressed Iran at a high-level meeting on Thursday night, warning the Islamic Republic that whoever harms or plans to harm the Jewish state will be hurt back.

“For years, Iran has been working against us, both directly and through its proxies, and therefore Israel has been working against Iran and its proxies, both on the defense and offense,” said the premier.

“We will know how to defend ourselves and will act according to the simple principle that whoever hurts us or plans to hurt us—we will hurt him,” he added.

Israel’s Political-Security Cabinet gathered in Jerusalem on Thursday night to discuss the Iranian threat, as well as to receive an update on the ongoing hostage negotiations with Hamas.

On Monday, seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including its leader in Syria and Lebanon, were killed in an attack in Damascus that targeted a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahedi was the most senior regime official to be killed since Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran in an assassination attributed to Israel four years ago.

Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the attack, but four officials have told The New York Times that Jerusalem ordered the strike.

Senior sources in the Iranian regime told Reuters on Thursday that Tehran would give a “serious response” to the raid, though suggested that it would avoid a direct clash with Israel and the United States.

According to Israeli assessments reported by Channel 12, Iran could attempt to strike Israel through one of its terror proxies—Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen or militia forces in Syria.

The Israel Defense Forces has been placed on high alert, resulting in combat soldiers’ weekend leaves being canceled and the military calling up additional reserve soldiers to the IDF Aerial Defense Array.

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