update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu: ‘Whoever harms us, we will harm them’

"We are prepared to meet all of the security needs of the State of Israel, both defensively and offensively," said the Israeli premier.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Tel Nof Air Base, April 11, 2024. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Tel Nof Air Base, April 11, 2024. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that the Jewish state would respond in kind to any attack.

Speaking during a visit to the Tel Nof Air Base, he said, “We are in challenging times. We are in the midst of the war in Gaza, which is continuing at full force, even as we are continuing our relentless efforts to return our hostages.”

However, he continued, “We are also prepared for scenarios involving challenges in other sectors. We have determined a simple rule: Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We are prepared to meet all of the security needs of the State of Israel, both defensively and offensively.”

Washington and its allies believe a major attack on Israel by Iran is imminent and may be launched in the coming days.

According to U.S. and Israeli sources, an Iranian attack has become a matter of when, not if, the officials said, warning that the expected assault “may not necessarily come from Israel’s north.”

The Islamic Republic’s response to the killing of an Iranian general in Syria on April 1, which Tehran has blamed on the Jewish state, could involve high-precision missiles being launched at Israel.

Israel’s allies have reportedly been told that government and military structures may be targeted but civilian facilities are not expected to be.

Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the attack in Damascus which killed Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahedi, but four officials told The New York Times last week that Jerusalem ordered the strike.

Senior sources in the Iranian regime told Reuters on April 4 that Tehran would provide a “serious response” to the killing of Zahedi, suggesting however that it would seek to avoid a direct clash with Israel and the United States.

The U.S. military commander in charge of the Middle East arrived in Israel on Thursday to coordinate with the Israel Defense Forces regarding a possible attack by Iran and its proxies.

Gen. Erik Kurilla, commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), will reportedly meet with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and senior military officials.

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.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden sent a public warning to Iran, saying: “As I told Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, our commitment to Israel’s security against these threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned on Tuesday that Israel will respond in kind should Iran launch a direct attack against it.

“If Iran attacks from its territory—Israel will respond and attack in Iran,” tweeted Katz. The minister tagged Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the X post.

Khamenei said on Wednesday that “Israel must be punished, and they will pay for their mistakes.”

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