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Israel minister slammed for implying Israel behind Iran blasts

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 19 Apr 2024, 05:45 PM
Tan KW
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JERUSALEM: Israel's far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir came under severe criticism for harming Israel's strategy against Iran after he suggested Israel was behind blasts that rocked Iran today.

Iran's state media reported that there were explosions in the central province of Isfahan, while a section of United States media quoting American officials reported Israel had carried out retaliatory strikes on its arch foe Iran.

When contacted by AFP, neither the Israeli military nor the government offered comments on the blasts.

But Ben Gvir, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling coalition, wrote "Scarecrow!" on X, meaning feeble in Hebrew slang, a suggestion Israel was behind the blasts but its action was weak.

His comment swiftly sparked reactions on social media and television channels.

"Never before a minister has done such a heavy damage to the country's security, its image, and its international status," opposition leader Yair Lapid wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

"In an unforgivable tweet of one word, Ben Gvir managed to sneer and shame Israel from Teheran to Washington."

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim, an academic and host of a podcast on geopolitics, said that Ben Gvir "confirms the Israeli operation and ridicules it".

"By doing so he undermines Israel's power of deterrence. An absolute disgrace for a minister," he wrote on X.

Iran's Tasnim news agency retweeted Ben Gvir's post.

However, Tally Gotliv, lawmaker from Netanyahu's Likud party cheered the developments in Iran.

"A morning of pride," she wrote on X.

"Israel is a strong and powerful country," added Gotliv, who is also a member of Israeli Parliament's foreign affairs and security committee.

Israel previously warned it would hit back after Iran fired hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel almost a week ago, in retaliation for a deadly strike on April 1 - which Teheran blamed on its foe - that levelled Iran's consular annex at its embassy in Syria.

Fears of a major regional spillover from the Gaza war have since soared.

 - AFP

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