Israel’s domestic turmoil won’t impact its military abilities and its power to strike its enemies, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the government as it met Sunday for its weekly meeting.
“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.,” Netanyahu said.
He spoke just two days after Tehran accused Israel of executing a military strike outside of Damascus in Syria, that killed Milad Haydari, a military advisor to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“We are exacting a high price from the regimes that support terrorism, beyond Israel's borders. I suggest that our enemies not err” in this regard, Netanyahu said.
Greece and Israel thwart terror attack on Jews in Greece
Less than a week ago, Greece arrested two men who are suspected members of a group that was planning an attack against an Israeli restaurant in Athens, a case that Israel said was orchestrated by Iran.
Netanyahu threw his support behind Israel’s police in the aftermath of a controversial shooting of Israeli-Bedouin Muhammad al-Osaibi near the Chain Gate of the Temple Mount early Saturday morning. Police have charged that he attempted to steal an officer’s weapon so he could commit a terrorist attack.
Osaibi’s family has rejected the claim, saying he was a medical student in Romania who returned for a month. His mother told KAN news he was innocent of any charges against him and that he had been on his way to pray. There is no security footage from the incident.
“I give full backing to the Israel Police for thwarting the terrorist on the Temple Mount over the weekend,” Netanyahu said.
He also referenced Saturday’s terror attack in the West Bank.
“We are all praying for the well-being of the soldier who was wounded in the ramming attack last night in Gush Etzion,” Netanyahu said.
“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,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu discusses judicial reform
He also referenced the judicial overhaul process and the consensus dialogue around it that began last week.
“We are currently in a process of dialogue with the goal of reaching a broad consensus," he said. "I would like to remind you all that before the elections many of the current opposition leaders supported substantive changes in the judicial system. Therefore, there is a basis here for agreements which should be possible to reach with goodwill in genuine dialogue,” Netanyahu said.
In light of the Passover holiday that begins this week, he said, it's important to focus on the unity of the Jewish people.
“This week, people of Israel will gather around the Seder table, I would like to remind you all that for centuries on Passover we always remembered that we have a common past of thousands of years as well as a common future expressed in the prayer for next year in a rebuilt Jerusalem.
“Now, in the rebuilt Jerusalem, we will still remember that we have a glorious past and a bright future – together,” he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.