Bennett: Israel Must Strike First at Its Mortal Enemies

YERUSHALAYIM -
Russia Syria
People standing near damaged buildings in Douma, the site of a suspected chemical-weapons attack. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Speaking to high school students at a conference Wednesday, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that, while he could not confirm that Israel was behind an attack on a Syrian military based Tuesday night, but that Iran and Israel’s other enemies must realize that “our policy during this period is ‘he that rises to kill you, kill him first,’ quoting a well-known Gemara (Sanhedrin 72a). “This is a somewhat tense period between us and our enemies, both near and far, and those words sum up how we have to relate to it.”

A Syrian human rights group said Wednesday that at least 15 people — 8 of them Iranians – were killed in an air strike on a military base near Damascus. An unknown number of people are missing. The damage to the Al-Kiswa base was very substantial, the group said. According to Syrian sources quoted in Israeli media, the base was used as a “listening post” for the Syrians – and the Iranians – to follow events in Israel and Jordan.

The bases were also said to house Iranian Fajr 3 missiles. Sources told Hadashot News that the missiles destroyed in that raid were likely to be used in the Iranian “revenge” attack that Tehran had promised, after several bases in Syria were destroyed in air raids in the past few months. Syria blamed Israel for the attack. Israel has not commented on accusations that it was behind the attack.

Iran has not commented on its reported losses in Tuesday’s attack, but on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khameini told Iranian parliamentarians that President Donald Trump had made a “mistake” in pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. “You heard the President of the United States proclaim silly things last night,” he said Wednesday. “There were more than ten lies in the speech. He threatened the Iranian government and the Iranian people.” Trump “will die and his body will be eaten by insects, but the Islamic Republic will remain strong,” Khameini said, as Iranian MPs burned American flags and chanted “death to America.”