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IDF chief orders call-up of reservist troops following recent terror attacks

'We are exacting a high price from the regimes that support terrorism, beyond Israel's borders,' says Netanyahu

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi briefing Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Apr. 6, 2023 (Photo: Ariel Hermoni/IMoD)

The Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi ordered a call-up of reservist troops on Friday, following an escalation of terrorism against Israelis emanating from Gaza, Lebanon, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

While the IDF did not elaborate on the extent of the call-up, the Halevi said the focus is on air defense units and the “air attack arrays,” a reference to fighter jet pilots and attack drone operators. 

However, the IDF stressed it wants to avoid an escalation on the ground. 

"Nobody wants an escalation right now," said an unnamed Israeli military spokesperson. "Quiet will be answered with quiet, at this stage I think, at least in the coming hours," he added. 

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir recently criticized the government for being too soft in its response to the growing terrorism against Israel. 

“It is obvious that we would want more – it is obvious that I want an unequivocal response to the terror, rockets and incitement – and I promise to continue fighting with all my power for our doctrine, yours and mine,” vowed Ben Gvir. 

While the call-up of air force reservists will boost the Jewish state’s offensive regional capabilities, Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai also urged Israeli civilians with licensed gun ownership to carry their weapons in their daily lives. 

“The motivation to disturb the peace has risen in recent days, and is a result of unrelenting incitement,” warned Shabtai, referring to the recent Muslim incitement and clashes between Muslim rioters and Israeli police forces on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. 

Ronen Bar, the chief of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, recently revealed that the Jewish state had foiled approximately 200 “significant” terror attacks since the beginning of 2023. 

A Palestinian terrorist recently murdered two British-Israeli sisters who travelled by with their mother in the Jordan Valley. Later the same day an Israeli Arab citizen murdered an Italian tourist and wounded seven tourists next to Tel Aviv’s popular beach promenade. The murdered Italian tourist was later identified as Alessandro Parini (36), a lawyer from Rome who was on vacation in Israel. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the growing lethal terror attacks and violence by calling-up more Border Police forces, which “will work to increase the presence and strengthen security in city centers and crowded areas,” according to the Israeli police.

Addressing his Cabinet on Sunday, Netanyahu stressed that his government was committed to fight terrorism on different fronts. 

“We are acting against terrorism with all means and we are doing so in two ways: First, we are taking action and confronting the terrorists themselves. In recent months, our forces have eliminated dozens of terrorists and have arrested hundreds more,” said Netanyahu. 

“I give full backing to the Israel Police for thwarting the terrorist on the Temple Mount over the weekend. We are all praying for the well-being of the soldier who was wounded in the ramming attack last night in Gush Etzion,” added the prime minister.

Looking beyond the Jewish state’s immediate borders, Netanyahu vowed that Israel will also target the regimes that support and direct terrorism against Israel, namely Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah.

“Second, we are exacting a high price from the regimes that support terrorism, beyond Israel's borders. I suggest that our enemies not err. Israel's internal debate will not detract one iota from our determination, strength and ability to act against our enemies on all fronts, wherever and whenever necessary,” warned Netanyahu. 

Despite recent hope of improved Turkish-Israeli diplomatic ties, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lon Friday urged the Muslim world to unite "against Israel's attacks in Palestine" amid the growing violence on the Temple Mount, in the West Bank and along Israel’s borders with Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. 

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

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