As the war in Gaza reaches the one-month mark, the fear of escalation continues to top the list of Israeli and Western worries.
With such a prospect in mind, Israeli chief of staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi warned that Israel “knows how to reach anywhere in the Middle East,” a not-so-subtle threat to leading adversaries such as Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran.
“We are already a month into the war, hitting Hamas very, very hard, hitting the leadership of Hamas, hitting the commanders, hitting the terrorists, destroying Hamas’s infrastructure in Gaza, and we are also constantly ready for other areas,” he told Israel Defense Forces soldiers while standing alongside the country’s F-35 fleet at the Nevatim air base.
“This [air] base knows how to reach anywhere in the Middle East.”
Over the past month, Israel has carried out this threat several times, hitting targets in Lebanon and Syria. Most of these strikes targeted Hezbollah or Iranian forces.
The U.S. has joined in Israel’s game of deterrence, recently unveiling a major new weapons package to the country.
A Senate aide familiar with the matter told the Washington Examiner that the Biden administration has notified Congress of a weapons transfer to the tune of $320 million.
According to correspondence viewed by the Wall Street Journal, the package is focused on precision munitions, specifically Spice Family Gliding Bomb Assemblies, a type of weapon fired by warplanes.
The plan includes the proper maintenance and upkeep needed to maintain and operate the weapons.
The weapons would be transferred by Rafael USA to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, its Israeli parent company, and would then be used by the IDF.
The plan was first formulated and requested by Israel before Oct. 7 but faced renewed urgency after Hamas’s surprise attack that launched the country into its largest war in decades.
The planned weapons transfer comes as the Biden administration, itself facing pressure from domestic allies and Arab countries, pressures the Israeli government to do more to protect civilian lives.
The Palestinian Health Ministry is overseen by Hamas, and U.S. officials have cast doubt on the accuracy of its numbers. The ministry announced this week that the death toll in Gaza had surpassed 10,000, making it the deadliest round of fighting between the Israelis and Palestinians since Israel’s independence in 1948. Over 1,400 Israelis have been killed, most on the first day of the surprise terror attack.