Netanyahu Asks Ministers Not to Comment on Security
Written by Andrew Friedman/TPS on April 11, 2018
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked government ministers Wednesday not to speak to media about security issues, citing a “sensitive situation” with tensions soaring on both the northern and southern borders.
Netanyahu’s attempt to reign in his cabinet came a day after Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman put the military on heightened alert in the north following Iranian threats to avenge an airstrike on the T-4 air base in central Syria on Monday that left at least 14 people dead, including at least seven members of the Iranian military.
Israel has not commented on the attack, but Russia, Syria and the United States have all pointed an accusatory finger at Israel for the strike. In addition, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the “crime” of the attack would “not go unanswered,” a thinly-veiled threat against Israel.
The tensions along the northern border are further exacerbated by an emerging clash between Russia and the United States over US President Donald Trump’s threat to take military action in Syria in response to that country’s use of poison gas against civilians in the southern city of Douma, and Moscow’s threat to retaliate should the United States attack.
Netanyahu’s directive to cabinet members also comes in light of ongoing Palestinian moves along the Israel-Gaza border fence in recent weeks, including several border infiltrations, improvised explosive device (IED) explosions targeted at IDF patrols and a series of mass protests leading up to May 14, the secular anniversary of Israel’s founding which Palestinians mark as Nakba (Catastrophe) Day.