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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Israel braces for possible Iranian attack

Tehran has vowed vengeance for the deadly strike on its consulate in Damascus

The Israeli military canceled all leave and began to spoof satellite signals on Thursday, in what has been widely interpreted as preparation for a possible Iranian reprisal for the killing of Iranian officers in Syria.

Two generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, were among the seven officers killed in Monday’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed that Israel would “receive a slap in the face,” while Iran’s envoy to Syria promised a response of the “same magnitude and harshness.”

Residents of central Israel on Thursday began reporting global positioning system (GPS) disruptions in Google Maps and popular delivery applications. Some residents of Tel Aviv said the maps were showing them as being in Beirut, Lebanon. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman, Admiral Daniel Hagari, soon confirmed that the military was behind this.

“We proactively activated a GPS interference, which was absolutely necessary,” Hagari said in a statement.

The IDF also announced it was suspending all leave for combat units, “in accordance with the situational assessment.”

“The IDF is at war and the issue of the deployment of forces is constantly reviewed as needed,” the military said.

Read more: Planned Israeli attack threatens entire Arab world – Arab League

Israel has not officially commented on Monday’s airstrike, which targeted the Iranian diplomatic mission in what multiple countries – including Russia – denounced as a serious violation of international conventions. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant came the closest to admitting responsibility on Wednesday, when he said Israel “strikes our enemies all over the Middle East.”

According to Gallant, the IDF was “increasing preparedness” against all threats. The scenarios discussed by Israeli media have ranged from drone and rocket attacks from Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen to ballistic missile strikes from Iran itself.

Israel has accused Iran of backing Hamas, the Gaza-based Palestinian militant group that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to eradicate after the October 7 raid that claimed the lives of an estimated 1,200 Israelis. Since then, over 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli invasion and much of Gaza razed to the ground.