update deskIsrael at War

PM vows to win ‘in all sectors’ ahead of possible Iran strike

The War Cabinet is considering military responses designed to inflict pain on Tehran while avoiding a broader regional war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with IDF recruits at the Tel HaShomer induction base, April 16, 2024. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with IDF recruits at the Tel HaShomer induction base, April 16, 2024. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Israel is determined to achieve victory over its enemies in “all sectors,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday ahead of a possible strike against Iranian targets.

“You are joining the IDF, in magnificent combat units, in order to repel a brutal enemy, the monsters who attacked us,” Netanyahu told recruits at the Israel Defense Forces induction center in Ramat Gan on Tuesday.

“You want to win? You are ready to fight? That is exactly what is needed,” the premier told the troops. “There are three objectives. One: to eliminate Hamas; two: to return the hostages; and three: to ensure that Hamas never again constitutes a threat to Israel,” Netanyahu continued.

He explained, “This is part of a greater campaign; you see this. Iran stands behind Hamas, behind Hezbollah and behind others, but we are determined to win there, and to defend ourselves in all sectors.”

As part of the visit to the Tel HaShomer base, Netanyahu met with “lone soldiers” who have no family in the country who can help them, immigrants who came to Israel to enlist, graduates of pre-military academies and recruits whose families have been affected by the ongoing war against Iran’s proxies.

He also spoke with the grandson of Israel Prize laureate Miriam Peretz, who lost two of her sons while they were serving in the IDF.

“Today at the Bakum Reception and Sorting Base [at Tel HaShomer], I embraced Ohr-Chadash Peretz, the son of Eliraz Peretz and the nephew of Uriel Peretz, who is enlisting today in Golani. This is our spirit; with it, we will defeat all our enemies,” wrote Netanyahu in a post on X.

Overnight Saturday, the Islamic Republic launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel. The IDF said that Israel and its partners, including the U.S., intercepted some 99% of the projectiles, calling it a “significant strategic achievement” and noting that none of the 170 drones sent by Tehran penetrated Israeli territory.

Israel might carry out a retaliatory attack on Iran in the coming days, three U.S. and Western officials told The Wall Street Journal on Monday, as Jerusalem’s War Cabinet wrapped up discussions on “painful” responses to the Islamic Republic’s drone and missile assault.

The War Cabinet discussed several possible military responses, with each of them designed to inflict pain on the Iranian regime while avoiding the expansion of a regional war. The body is set to meet again on Tuesday.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, a member of the War Cabinet, told his American counterpart on Sunday night that the Jewish state had no choice but to respond to Saturday night’s unprecedented aerial attacks.

The Walla news site, citing a senior American official and a source privy to the conversation, reported that Gallant stressed to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that Jerusalem could not accept a reality in which ballistic missiles are fired at Israeli territory without repercussions.

“We are looking ahead,” Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi told troops on Monday. “We are considering our steps, and this launch of so many [ballistic] missiles, cruise missiles and UAVs into the territory of the State of Israel will be met with a response.”

Netanyahu on Monday invited opposition leaders Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid Party, Avigdor Liberman of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party and Gideon Sa’ar of the New Hope Party for an unscheduled security briefing.

Meanwhile, the American embassy in New Delhi said Tuesday that U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan postponed a visit to India scheduled for this week due to “ongoing events in the Middle East.”

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