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Source: Iranintl

Apr 3, 2023

Author: Iran International Newsroom

Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to dismiss last week, has warned against Iranian interference in Palestinian areas.

"We will not allow the Iranians and Hezbollah to harm us. We have not allowed it in the past, we won’t allow it now, or anytime in the future," Gallant said during the visit to an army brigade in the West Bank.The statement came as tensions increased last week with three Israeli air and missile strikes on Iranian bases in Syria, followed by warnings of retaliation by Tehran.

Iran admitted that two of its officers were killed in the attack, leading to suspicions that it wanted to lay the ground for a possible counterattack.Iran's government spokesman, Ali Bahadori-Jahromi, tweeted Sunday that Israel's "terrorist acts will not remain unanswered."

An unidentified aircraft that tried to enter Israel from Syria on Sunday was shot down by the air force, but the government has not yet officially identified it as an Iranian aircraft, most probably a drone.

Iranian officials and government media remained silent on the aircraft incident on Monday, with some newspapers and websites simply reporting the incident and unconfirmed reports that the Israeli government believes the intruding aircraft was Iranian.

Netanyahu announced Gallant's dismissal a week ago after he spoke out against the pace of the government's hotly contested judicial reforms.

The announcement triggered foreign alarm and unprecedented street protest, and Gallant never received a formal dismissal letter from Netanyahu.

Netanyahu's religious-nationalist coalition government has since moved to pause the judicial reforms.

Gallant was briefed during his visit on a probe into a Palestinian motorist who the Israeli military said it shot on Saturday after he rammed his car into a group of soldiers in the West Bank.

Israeli-Palestinian tensions are simmering after months of violence in areas of Jerusalem and the West Bank. Tensions are also simmering with Syria, Iran and with Iran-backed armed group Hezbollah.

"All our fronts are tense. The Iranians are extending their outreach to (the West Bank) and Gaza and are attempting to entrench themselves in Syria and Lebanon," said Gallant.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) called on Palestinians last week to take advantage of recent protests in Israel to destabilize the country. IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said on Tuesday that “the occupied territories are the scene of confrontation of a movement within the Zionist regime that wants to stand against the totalitarianism of another wing.”

“This is a golden opportunity for the Palestinian fighters to take advantage of the situation,” he added.

Iranian government media have been trumpeting “the end of Israel” resulting from internal disagreements.

Gen. Sharif was quoted by local media on March 29 as saying that Jerusalem's "liberation" is near, "thanks to the Palestinian struggle", and to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who "is the flag-bearer" of the fight against Israel.

He also said that IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani played an important role in driving the "resistance". Soleimani was targeted and killed by the United States in Baghdad in January 2020.

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