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Israel strikes targets in Syria after drone attack on Eilat school

Explosion in Eilat, Nov. 9, 2023 (Photo: Screenshot)

The Israeli Air Force struck several targets in Syria in response to an unprecedented drone attack on a school in Israel's southernmost city, Eilat.

The IDF announced on Friday morning that the drone, which was first suspected to have been fired from Yemen, in fact, came from Syria and reached Eilat by flying over Jordanian territory.

Syria has become a magnet for numerous Iranian-backed terror proxies, as Tehran has tried to establish a new front against Israel.

Israel Defense Forces did not specify which terror organization was behind the unusual drone attack or what sites were being targeted in Syria. However, in an official statement, the IDF stressed that it holds the Syrian regime responsible for terrorist activities emanating from its territory. 

“The Syrian regime is fully responsible for all terror activity that is carried out from Syrian territory. The IDF will respond severely to any attempt to harm the territory of the State of Israel,” read the statement. 

The suicide drone caused a blast when it hit the school. Israeli officials revealed that about 40 students were in the school basement when the facility was attacked. No serious injuries were reported.

However, Magen David Adom, Israel's emergency first responder, announced that it had treated five people for acute anxiety. In addition, a young Israeli was treated for smoke inhalation. 

Due to its remote location, Eilat has been relatively calm despite the ongoing war with the terror organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Eilat is the Israeli city with the shortest distance to the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel group in Yemen and has come under repeated attacks.

On Thursday, Israel made history when it used its Arrow-3 air defense system to intercept a long-range missile fired by the Houthis toward the Eilat region. It was reportedly the first time that Israel’s most advanced long-range aerial defense system had been tested in a real battle situation. The incoming hostile missile was successfully neutralized outside of Israeli territory. 

Illustrative: Test launch of the Arrow 3 missile defense system, July 28, 2019. (Photo: Israel Defense Ministry)

Israel Aerospace Industries President and CEO Boaz Levy stressed the importance of the interception. 

“This is a historic interception,” Levy said, “which strategically emphasizes Israel’s multi-layered response to long-term ballistic threats,” he added.

Aside from its terror proxies, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, long-range missiles constitute Iran’s main military capabilities against Israel. By neutralizing the long-range missile from the Iranian-backed Houthis, the IDF sent a message to Tehran that it was prepared to deal with long-range missile threats. 

The Arrow-3 is considered the world’s most advanced long-range aerial defense system.

In September, Israel signed a letter of commitment to deliver the Arrow-3 missile defense system to Germany for 14 billion shekels ($3.62 billion). It is considered the largest military agreement in the history of the Jewish state. 

At the time, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stressed the mutual importance of close German-Israeli defense ties. 

“Since the establishment of our ties, Germany has contributed greatly to Israel’s security. Today we are proud to do the same for Germany – strategic ally, and European leader,” Gallant said.

The Israeli defense minister, whose mother was a Holocaust survivor, emphasized the positive development between the two nations since World War II.

“Only 80 years since the end of the Second World War, yet Israel and Germany join hands today in building a safer future, for both nations," Gallant added.

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

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