Pumping up the incitement: Netanyahu says Israel deploys Iron Dome defense system

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly
cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Aug. 25. (AFP/Dan Balilty, Pool)
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defense system to bolster its security as the West weighed military strikes on neighboring Syria.

But he echoed President Shimon Peres in insisting that Israel is not involved in Syria’s civil war but will respond with all its might if attacked.

“We have decided to deploy Iron Dome and other interceptors,” Netanyahu said, in a statement released by his office, ahead of holding security talks at the defense ministry.

“We are not involved in the war in Syria. But I repeat: if anyone tries to harm Israeli citizens, Tsahal (the Israeli army) will respond with force,” Netanyahu said in other remarks broadcast by Israeli television.

His comments come as Britain and the United States laid out their case for punitive strikes on Syria over an alleged chemical attack last week that rights groups say killed hundreds.

Earlier Peres said Israel will hit back if its security is at stake.

“Israel was not, and is not, involved in the Syrian fighting but if anyone tries to harm us we will respond with all our might,” Peres was quoted as saying in a statement from his office.

“Israel has a strong army, modern and powerful, and a more advanced defense system than ever before,” he added.

Peres said the situation in Syria, where a civil war that erupted in March 2011 has killed more than 100,000 people, “is not a local incident but a crime against humanity.”

Israeli media and officials sought to calm the public on Thursday, as queues for gas masks lengthened.

There are fears that it the United States and its allies launch military strikes on Syria, forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad could retaliate against Israel, Washington’s key ally in the region.

“Keep calm and carry on” was the title of a front-page analysis in the Jerusalem Post, echoing a slogan designed by the British government in World War II.

“With (Israeli) military intelligence keeping more eyes and ears open to enemy activity than ever before, the combination of Israel’s firepower and accurate intelligence would spell very bad news for the Assad regime should it choose to target Israel in response to an attack on Syria by the United States,” the Post wrote.

“Doing so would likely sign his regime’s death certificate.”

On Wednesday, Netanyahu’s security cabinet authorized a limited call-up of reservists, but the premier said members of the public had “no reason to change their routines.”

Haaretz daily said those to be called up numbered “a few hundred” personnel considered vital, including members of missile defense, air force, intelligence and civil defense units.

“We need to make preparations but also to go about our daily lives,” Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Wednesday.

News website Ynet reported on Thursday that “hundreds” of people were waiting outside a gas mask distribution center in central Tel Aviv before it opened, and public radio said “thousands” were queuing at a distribution site in the northern city of Haifa.

Maariv said a center in Jerusalem was forced to close on Wednesday after anxious residents grabbed all the mask kits on the premises.

Nevertheless, Maariv reported, “security officials said that the situation assessment was that the likelihood of an attack on Israel was low.”

The kits were first distributed during the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq fired Scud missiles at Israel as the US-led coalition launched Operation Desert Storm.

The kits also contain syringes of the anti-nerve gas agent atropine for self-injection.

Yediot Aharonot diplomatic writer Shimon Shiffer recalled the 1991 attacks, which did not deliver non-conventional warheads and caused few casualties.

“Yesterday, against the backdrop of pictures of panicked civilians crowding the distribution centers for gas mask kits, I remembered something I said back then: ‘There are no chemical weapons, and there will be no chemical weapon attack,'” Shiffer wrote in the top-selling daily.

“It seems to me that what was correct then, is correct today too. I dare to say that no chemical weapon attack is expected on Israeli targets. We can relax.”



Live Blog – Israel Attacks Syria – May 4, 2013

Maan News Agency | May 4, 2013

Israeli F-16 warplanes take part in a military display marking Israel’s  60th anniversary in 2008. (AFP/Jack Guez, File)

Israeli F-16 warplanes take part in a military display marking Israel’s
60th anniversary in 2008. (AFP/Jack Guez, File)

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Israel conducted an airstrike in Syria overnight targeting a weapons shipment headed for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, US media reported.

CNN said US and Western intelligence agencies were reviewing information suggesting Israel likely conducted a strike in the night from Thursday to Friday, just as Israel was flying many warplanes over Lebanon.

But the United States does not believe Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace to conduct the strikes, it added.

A senior US official told NBC News that the airstrikes were likely tied to delivery systems for chemical weapons.

White House and Pentagon officials declined to comment on the reports.

But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was quoted as telling an audience that Israel had indeed bombed Syria.

“Israel bombed Syria tonight,” Graham was cited by the Politico news website as saying in passing, without offering any further details.

Graham, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was speaking at the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual Silver Elephant fundraising dinner.

If confirmed, this would mark the second time that Israel has conducted airstrikes on Syria this year.

Earlier this month, it implicitly admitted carrying out a January airstrike on a weapons convoy in Syria thought to be en route to Lebanon’s Hezbollah — a long-time Damascus ally.

The reports on the latest strike came shortly after President Barack Obama nearly ruled out deploying US troops to Syria, saying he did not foresee a scenario in which that would be beneficial to the United States or Syria.

Speculation has mounted that the Obama administration could reverse its opposition to arming the rebels after the White House said last week that President Bashar Assad likely used chemical weapons on his people.

Obama has been reluctant to intervene in the war but faces mounting criticism that he has allowed the Assad regime to cross his own declared “red line” on using chemical weapons.


Syria: ‘Israeli strike’ hits Damascus army centre

Video by Al Jazeera



Related News

  • May 4, 2013 | Israel ‘launches’ airstrike into Syria – Al Jazeera
  • May 4, 2013 | Israeli warplanes ‘target weapons shipment’ in Syria – Maan News
  • May 4, 2013 | Israeli strike on Syria targeted weapons shipment – AP
  • May 4, 2013 | Report: Israel Responsible for Syria Strike | The Daily Beast
  • May 4, 2013 | Israel launches airstrike in Syria: official – Al Akhbar
  • May 4, 2013 | Israel silent on reports it bombed Syria | Maan News
  • May 4, 2013 | Obama, Syria, and the Arrogance of Imperialism
    | Dissident Voice
  • May 4, 2013 | Stealing Syria’s Oil | Dissendent Voice



May 5, 2013


  • May 5, 2013 | Witnesses describe Israel’s reported attack on a military research center near Damascus “an earthquake” – RT
  • May 5, 2013 | Tensions spike after new Israeli strikes in Syria – AP
  • May 5, 2013 | Zahhar: Arabs must unite against Israeli attacks on Syria – Maan
  • May 5, 2013 | Egypt, Arab League condemn attacks in Syria – Maan
  • May 5, 2013 | Resheq: Condemnation of massacres in Syria not compatible with the events – PIC
  • May 5, 2013 | Israeli aggression in Syria is provoking a war ~ by Larry Derfner at 972 Magazine
  • May 5, 2013 | Arguments against intervention in Syria are losing steam
    972 Magazine (including video)
  • May 5, 2013 | Syria: Israel strike ‘opens door to all possibilities’ – Maan
  • May 5, 2013 | Iran rejects Hezbollah-destined missiles – PressTV
  • May 5, 2013 | Iran: Obama Approved the Israeli Attack on Syria – Global Research
  • May 5, 2013 | Syria Vs. Israel : People are now paying attention ~ by @Zeinobia
  • May 5, 2013 | Top Israeli reporter: Israeli attack on Syria with US support is dress rehearsal for attack on Iran. – Al Monitor
  • May 5, 2013 | israel used “a new type of weapon” a senior official at the Syrian military facility that came under attack from… – Read more
  • May 5, 2013 | Israel Bombs Syria, Again – Al Akhbar English
  • May 5, 2013 | Hamas condemns Israeli ‘aggression’ against Syria – Maan
  • May 5, 2013 | PLO official: Israeli attack on Syria ‘unjustifiable’ – Maan
  • May 5, 2013 | Israel reportedly uses uranium munitions against Syria – (Article in German) – Gegenfrage
  • May 5, 2013 |Israeli attack on Syria widens war — U.S. anti-war movement on alert: IAC Statement – IAC



May 6, 2013

  • May 6, 2013 | ‘Israel is Obama’s fall-back plan for Syria’ – Russia Today
  • May 6, 2013 | UN notes ‘concrete suspicions’ that Syrian rebels used chemical weapons – Russia Today
  • May 6, 2013 | Turkish doctors say no nerve gas found in Syrian victims’ blood – Global Post
  • May 6, 2013 | Israel army: Syria rockets land in Golan Heights – Maan
  • May 6, 2013 | Israel raids on Syria killed at least 42 soldiers – Maan
  • May 6, 2013 | General: Any arms Israel targeted in Syria not Iranian – Maan
  • May 6, 2013 | Israeli airstrike in Syria aimed at Iran – AP
  • May 6, 2013 | Government refuses to tell Israeli public about its airstrikes – Jews for Justice for Palestine
  • May 6, 2013 | Syrian rockets hit Golan Heights  – PressTV
  • May 6, 2013 | China criticizes Syria raid as Netanyahu, Abbas visit – Maan
  • May 6, 2013 | NGO: Israel raids on Syria killed at least 15 soldiers – Maan
  • May 6, 2013 | Notes on the Israeli Assault against Syria ~ by M. Tomazy
  • May 7, 2013 | Yediot Aharonot: Israel sent secret message to Assad to ease tension – Middle East Monitor
  • May 7, 2013 | Turkish PM: Israel’s strikes help Assad cover massacres – Ya Libnan
  • May 7, 2013 | Four U.N. Peacekeepers Seized in Golan Heights – NaharNet
  • May 7, 2013 | Israel’s ‘act of war’ against Syria – Madness or cold calculation? – RT
  • May 8, 2013 | Statement by Palestinian Youth Movement on Refugee Camps in Syria – Jadaliyya
  • May 8, 2013 |The west and its allies cynically bleed Syria to weaken Iran  – ArabWorld360
  • May 8, 2013 | Syria Allegedly Grants Palestinian Group Green Light To Attack Israel – IMEMC
  • May 9, 2013 | Report: 56,000 Palestinian refugees fled Syria to neighboring Lebanon, Jordan – PIC
  • May 20, 2013 | Syria hits Israeli military vehicle after crossing the cease fire zone – PressTV
  • May 21, 2013 | Israel warns Syria over Golan attack – PressTV (after israel attacked first, everyone pls stay focused!)
  • July 13, 2013 | Israel ‘launched strikes near key Syria port’ – Ma’an News
  • Aug 18, 2013 | Israel starting attacks In May 2013 retaliates (?) after Syrian shells hit Golan Heights – More


Related Topics

  • Israel’s Weapons: A Crime on Humanity – Special Topic
  • Golan – Israeli Violations of International Law – More
  • Israel “ALLOWS” US company to explore & loot oil in occupied Golan Heights – More
  • The Israeli occupation the world forgot: the Golan Heights – 972-Magazine

 



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