Dr Mike Evans

Iran planning phase two of Oct. 7 terror during Ramadan, Israel claims

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant cautioned on Tuesday that Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas are seeking to exploit the Ramadan period to stoke tensions in the region to replicate another October 7 disaster against Israel.

Gallant asserted that their strategy is to incite Palestinians in the West Bank, as well as Hezbollah, and Arabs and Muslims across the region, to launch attacks and direct their anger towards Israel, leveraging the Temple Mount and simmering tensions in the West Bank as pretexts.

Having been a prominent advocate for dismantling Hamas, Gallant had previously advocated for a preemptive strike against Hezbollah during earlier stages of the conflict. While emphasizing the importance of maintaining military readiness, Gallant now advocates for de-escalating tensions in areas where conflict is avoidable.

He opposes National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s proposal to restrict access to the Temple Mount for certain Israeli Arabs or Palestinians during Ramadan. Additionally, he has been advocating for over a month to permit Palestinian West Bank workers approved by the Shin Bet to return to their jobs in Israel.

Prior to the conflict, approximately 210,000 Palestinian West Bank workers routinely commuted to work in Israel, with only a small fraction involved in terrorist activities.

Despite recommendations from both the IDF and Shin Bet to allow the return of Palestinian West Bank workers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has largely supported Ben-Gvir’s stance on these matters thus far.

In the northern front, IDF fighter jets targeted a military site and infrastructure belonging to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. The strikes targeted Hezbollah facilities in the villages of Jebchit, Baisariyeh, and Mansouri, while artillery was used to neutralize a threat in the Yaroun region.

This action followed an earlier barrage of rockets fired towards Israel, with 35 rockets reportedly aimed at the Mount Meron area. There were no reported Israeli casualties from this rocket fire. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the rocket launch, stating it was in response to Israeli military actions in Baalbek, Lebanon, around 100 kilometers from the Israeli border.

Later on Tuesday, Hezbollah launched another barrage of approximately 20 rockets, targeting IDF Division 146 and areas in Western Galilee.