The Israeli army has announced a high military alert on its border with Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip until the end of the elections, scheduled to be held on Sep. 17.
Military sources in Tel Aviv said on Friday that the decision is aimed at countering the danger of hostile Arab organizations, especially those loyal to Iran such as Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, to carry out armed operations inside Israel or launch rockets towards it.
“The Israeli army has taken several measures to improve its readiness in preparation for the possibility of an escalation, especially on Gaza borders,” sources added.
“Political and military leaders in Tel Aviv are concerned that armed groups try to exploit the tense situation in Israel, as it heads to elections and escalate the situation.”
Upon his return from Russia, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel might head to a military operation in Gaza Strip before elections take place, noting that such an act “could take place at any moment.”
He also pledged to topple the Hamas regime, saying “Hamas doesn’t exert its sovereignty in the Strip and doesn’t prevent attacks.”
However, former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed Netanyahu's statements as part of a series of lies and a campaign of promises that won’t be implemented on ground.
He affirmed on Friday that Netanyahu had deceived him and prevented him from carrying out his plan to assassinate Head of Hamas' Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh.
In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 television, Lieberman said that Netanyahu and his Likud party had signed an agreement with him, including an article on toppling Hamas rule in Gaza.
“But Netanyahu did everything to avoid this operation.”
“Netanyahu has granted immunity to Hamas leaders despite continuing to arm their forces and manufacture rockets,” Lieberman said.
He gave an example the Israeli girl, who was killed two weeks ago near the Dulib settlement, pointing out that one hour later, Hamas leaders welcomed the operation without fear due to the immunity granted to them by Netanyahu.
Regarding Netanyahu’s threats to launch a massive military operation against the Strip and topple Hamas rule, Lieberman said that these promises were heard from the Premier in early 2009 and haven’t been implemented since then.