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Operation Shield and Arrow

Coalition, opposition leaders present unified front against terror as Operation Shield and Arrow launches

Jewish Power party ends boycott; its demand for a forceful military response is has been satisfied

Illustrative - Two Israeli F-15I 'Ra'am' fighter jets during maneuvers (Photo: CC BY-TSgt Kevin J. Gruenwald/USA/Wikimedia)

Following the targeted killings of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza early this morning, the Jewish Power party announced that it will resume attendance at Cabinet meetings and voting in the Knesset. 

The party released a statement Tuesday morning, saying, “Due to our position being accepted and the move from containment to attacking via targeted assassinations of senior Islamic Jihad figures, we will return to vote with the government. Hopefully, the offensive continues over time.” 

Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu told Army Radio that the strikes on the PIJ leaders satisfied the party’s demands for a forceful military response. 

A statement by “senior coalition members" – likely approved by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu –read: “Israel's security moves have nothing to do in any way with steps by any party in the coalition, and are made only based on security and diplomatic considerations.” 

Hebrew news site Maariv reported that only four senior government officials knew about the strike beforehand – Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. 

Gallant also confirmed that the operation had been planned since last week

“The citizens of Israel are in good hands and whoever attacks us must know that he will not come clean," Smotrich commented following the attack. 

Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Yisrael Katz, a member of the security Cabinet, told Army Radio, “If we have to have a war, which we are not interested in, there will be a war.” 

He also warned the Hamas terror group, saying, “Hamas leaders need to understand, if they join [the conflict], Yahya Sinwar [Hamas leader in Gaza] and Mohammed Deif [commander of Hamas’ militant wing] will be the first targets for targeted killings."

Opposition leaders have also thrown their support behind the military campaign. 

National Unity party chairman Benny Gantz posted on social media, “As I stated last week, I say so again today - our enemies were mistaken in their assessment of Israel.” He also added, “Israel’s security forces and the government all have my full support in any determined actions taken with the purpose of defending the citizens of Israel.”  

“The terror organizations in the Strip know this morning that the intelligence community and security forces follow every step they make, and settle the score with them. An aggressive Israeli response in a place and time that suits us is the way to face the terror from Gaza. We will support any operational activity intended to defend citizens of the South, ” said opposition leader and Yesh Atid chair, Yair Lapid.

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman also posted a message supporting the operation. 

“I congratulate the IDF and the security forces for the targeted and successful elimination of the three terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The elimination of any terrorist is to be welcomed.” 

Liberman used the opportunity to criticize the government over reports of excessive funding to ultra-Orthodox interests in the upcoming budget, saying, “I call on the government to divert the billions of shekels given to the coalition partners and distributed to associates, and to return them to the budgets of the programs to protect the houses and infrastructure in both the south and the north. Do not play with human life.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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