Quds Day, under the specter of revenge

George Marinescu
English Section / 5 aprilie

Photo source: www.iffl.il.jpg

Photo source: www.iffl.il.jpg

Versiunea în limba română

Authorities in Israel were preparing at the close last night to counter a possible massive drone and cruise missile attack today, Quds Friday, announced by leaders in Tehran after Israeli forces killed several Iranian military chiefs in a bombing of the consulate that country in Damascus. We recall that on Monday, following an air attack attributed to Israel on the Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital, Damascus, two brigadier generals, one of whom was the head of the Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, Mohamed Reza Zahedi, and five other members of the powerful Guard Corps of the Islamic Revolution (IRGC) in Iran were killed. According to the Iranian news agency Tasnim, six Syrian citizens also lost their lives in the attack. Monday's attack was the worst blow to Iran's elite military since the death of Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian general who led the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force until he was killed by the US in 2020 in a drone strike in Baghdad .

Following threats from Tehran, the Israeli military (IDF) called up reservists to bolster its air defenses, canceled furloughs and furloughs for members of several combat units, and stepped up telecommunications jamming in central and northern Israel to interfere with GPS-guided drones and missiles expected to enter the country's airspace today sent by Iranian forces and Arab terrorist groups affiliated with the Tehran regime.

According to the website i24news.tv, the jamming, which is not permanent and can vary during the day and with regard to the geographical position, has been implemented since the beginning of the week in the Eilat and Arava regions, and yesterday morning navigation applications such as Waze, Moovit or Google Maps no longer allowed effective geolocation in Israel, with users claiming to be located in Beirut or Cairo.

Yigal Unna, Israel's former head of cyber security, joked to the quoted source: "Waze is working very well and we are proud of this Israeli app. It's true that last week I was in Nazareth, and Waze congratulated me on my arrival at Beirut airport. The reality is that we want to keep enemy missiles and drones far beyond our border. It's not an attack, it's a defense and it's in our interest."

The nationwide extension of the jamming came after threats issued on Wednesday by Iranian President Ebrahim Raissi who said: "The attack in Damascus will not go unanswered. Israel will pay a heavy price for its terrorist crimes."

Yesterday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also threatened Israel, tweeting in Hebrew on the X Network: "With God's help, we will make the Zionists repent for their crime of aggression against the Iranian consulate in Damascus. This year, Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) will be an international cry against the usurping Zionist regime."

The CIA warned Israel of an imminent attack by Iran

That is why the IDF decided to urgently recall the reservists of the Israeli Air Force. Jacques Neriah, a former military intelligence officer, told the quoted source: "Iranians like state symbols. For example, they could hit the Ministry of Defense or Foreign Affairs, but also military air bases in Israel can be targets. Their objective may be to prevent Israel from using its air force to retaliate in southern Lebanon."

To protect minors, the Israeli Ministry of Education decided yesterday that all boarding schools should send students home this weekend.

According to the Lebanese daily Al Mayadeen, the CIA allegedly alerted Israel on Wednesday of an imminent threat. The Americans reportedly told their counterparts in Jerusalem that Iran was ready to launch a massive attack within the next 48 hours, with multiple formations of drones and cruise missiles targeting key strategic locations inside Israel.

Warnings of an imminent Iranian attack turned serious after Ramadan Sharif, the spokesman for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said: "We will soon witness new deadly attacks against Israel and the resistance front will do its duty."

That statement was reinforced by the claims of an adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, who said: "Punishment of the Zionist entity is inevitable and inevitable."

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet (Israeli police) announced that it had destroyed a terrorist cell that was planning to carry out attacks in Israel, including the assassination of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir. The terrorist cell intended to carry out attacks on IDF bases, Ben Gurion Airport and the seat of government in Jerusalem. The terrorists intended to assassinate Minister Ben Gvir by obtaining a rocket and planned to kidnap IDF soldiers.

Following this success of law enforcement, Itamar Ben Gvir declared:

"Thank you to the Shin Bet, all the security forces and everyone who participated in foiling this assassination attempt. I am telling the terrorists that I am not afraid. I will continue to lead the fight against terrorism, with zero tolerance for its instigators and accomplices."

Regarding the threats sent by Tehran, Amos Yadlin, a former head of the Israeli secret services, told Reuters yesterday that Iran could today - the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Iran's Quds (Jerusalem) Day - respond to the attack from Damascus, either directly or through an agent.

Amos Yadlin said: "I won't be surprised if Iran acts tomorrow. Don't panic. Don't run to shelters. Let's be careful tomorrow and then, depending on the consequences of the attack, see if we see an escalation of the conflict."

Political analysts: Iran and its allies have few options

On the other hand, political analysts in the area claim that Iran and its friends in Hezbollah cannot support large-scale actions against Israel, because this would mean an escalation of the conflict in the Middle East, an escalation which the regime in Tehran has said it does not want. wishes at the start of hostilities in Gaza.

Mohanad Hage Ali, deputy director of research at the Carnegie Center for the Middle East in Beirut, told The New Arab daily about the loss suffered by Iran following the Damascus consulate attack: "The Iranian regime swallowed bigger pills than this. and went on. What is abundantly clear is that the status quo is unsustainable. Iran and Hezbollah are hemorrhaging as a result of their decision to engage in this limited war against Israel. He has to make a decision."

Firas Maksad, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, agrees with Hage Ali's assessment, adding that Iran may be planning a response for a later date, but it is not certain that retaliation will be carried out. Maksad told The New Arab: "The Iranians will have to swallow this - at least for the foreseeable future. Most likely, a response will be one with the Iranian modus operandi, which is asymmetric warfare, using its various proxies and allied militia formations in the region. There may be long-term planning for a response, but it could be something similar to the killing of Qassem Soleimani by the United States, where the authorities in Tehran have long vowed to avenge the martyr - at the time there were attacks with missiles - but no long-term direct conflict broke out and it all passed. The same could happen with the incident at the Iranian consulate in Damascus."

Both Hage Ali and Maksad argue that there are no red lines to cross at this point, given that Israel has been able to kill anyone it wants in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria in recent months without facing serious consequences from Hezbollah.

"So far, Israel has crossed so many red lines that the color has no meaning," said Hage Ali, who said that in this context Iran and its allies in Hezbollah have little choice.

The statements of the two seem to be confirmed by the representatives of the authorities in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Daniel Hagari, an Israeli military spokesman, said yesterday that there had been no change in home front preparedness guidelines amid reports of a high military alert after Iran vowed to retaliate for the deadly attack. since Monday on the building of its consulate in Damascus.

"There is no need to buy generators, collect food and withdraw money from ATMs. As we have done until today, we will immediately update any change, if there is one, in an official and orderly manner," Daniel Hagari said on the X network to the citizens of Israel, a country threatened by Iran with retaliation today, from Quds Day.

The annual event called International Quds Day (the last Friday of Ramadan, which this year is today, April 5) was established by former Ayatollah Khomeini and is a powerful reminder of the collective responsibility of Muslims around the world to stand in solidarity with oppressed people from Palestine. This day is an occasion for millions of Muslims to reiterate their long-term commitment to the liberation of Palestine and justice for the citizens of this state. Current Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been an advocate of the Palestinian cause, condemning Israel's occupation of Palestine and attributing the establishment of the state of Israel to the interests of Western powers in the region.

At the heart of Tehran's leaders' vision for Quds Day is the promotion of Jihad and self-reliance in the struggle for Palestinian liberation. Khamenei called for a referendum in Palestine to determine its future, emphasizing the restoration of Palestinian rights and rejection of Zionism.

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