(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Iran must not be allowed to drag Israel into a war on both its southern and northern borders, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said after he met Monday morning with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov.
Tehran sits at the head of an eight tentacled octopus that is responsible for the violence on Israel’s Gaza, Lebanese and Syrian borders, said Bennett, who is a member of Israel’s security cabinet.
“Iran's goal is to simultaneously entangle Israel on many fronts,” Bennett tweeted after his meeting with Mladenov.
“My opinion is that Iran is stirring trouble to alleviate multiple pressures. Israel should avoid dual Iranian-driven fronts. Ground Op in Gaza only as very last resort,” Bennett said.
There is no justification for endangering IDF soldiers in a Gaza ground operation until all other options have been exhausted, said Bennett. He explained that this included both other military economic and civilian options, but he did not elaborate.
Bennett about border violence on the same morning, that Israel warning sirens went off in the northern city of Katzrin, Safed and in the Golan and Galilee regions in response to two rocket launches that were part of the Syrian civil war that is raging close to Israel’s border.
The alarm set off the first-ever Israeli use of the David Sling interceptor system.
Mladenov has focused his efforts on the south and been working behind the scenes on an economic and rehabilitation plan for Gaza, tweeted a photo of his meeting with Bennett.
Bennett retweeted Mladenov’s words and added: “Productive meeting with @nmladenov. Working to restore calm in Gaza front. Round of violence will serve nobody.”
In the afternoon Mladenov headed to Ramallah, where he met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and representatives from the European Union, the World Bank and Norway.
The diplomates discussed way to provide financial support for Gaza, halting violence and the the need for the rival factions of Hamas and Fatah to reconcile. Representatives of the UN, the PA, Norway and the World Bank also met last week in Oslo.
Monday’s meeting comes after Friday’s violent flareup between Israel and Hamas. A Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier at the Gaza border and Israel struck at 60 Hamas targets in Gaza in retaliation.
Israel his month has also imposed its restrictions on Gaza’s main commercial crossing at Kerem Shalom, since the 2014 war with Hamas. Two weeks ago it banned all commercial goods from entering and leaving Gaza.
Last week it halted shipments of gas and fuel, a move that could force the closure of Gaza’s hospitals this week and has severely limited cooking gas in the Strip.
On Saturday, as part of an Egypt brokered understanding, Hamas agreed to halt its violent attacks against Israel, that has included rockets, mortars, flaming kites and balloons. There have also been repeated infiltration attempts and violent riots at the Gaza Israel border.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Saturday marked the calmest day on Israel’s southern border, since Hamas began its attacks on March 30th.
He said that if the calm persisted, he would on Tuesday rescind the commercial ban and allow gas and fuel to enter the Strip.
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