By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — April 8, 2023 … After over 50 rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria and terror attacks against Jewish civilians, Israel Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant spoke this evening with his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Israeli Minister Gallant briefed Secretary Austin on the recent wave of terror attacks in Israel, and the missiles fired by Palestinian terror groups from Gaza, Syria and Lebanese territory, with the backing of Iran.
He detailed the ongoing efforts of the Israel defense establishment to thwart terrorism and respond effectively to any threat toward Israeli citizens and troops.
Minister Gallant also raised the Israeli defense establishment’s efforts to enable freedom of prayer at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is hijacked by groups of Palestinian terrorists.
He concluded by thanking Secretary Austin for his friendship and partnership and solidarity with Israel’s right to defend itself.
Israeli combat jets hit sites in Lebanon and Gaza early on Friday, in retaliation for rocket attacks by the Islamist terror group Hamas. The IDF said that at least 50 rockets were fired from Gaza at Jewish homes in Israel.
On Thursday, 34 rockets were launched from Lebanon towards Israel in the worst escalation since the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war. These rocket attacks took place during the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Israel’s high-level security cabinet convened on Thursday night following the barrage with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to “hit back at our enemies.”
Two Israeli – British sisters, 16 and 20, were murdered and their mother seriously injured in a shooting attack in the West Bank. The Israel Defense Forces said it was searching for those behind the terror attack.
In a Tel Aviv car-ramming on Friday, the Palestinian terrorist rammed his vehicle into a group of civilians near a popular seaside park, police said. Israel’s rescue service said a 35-year-old Italian man was murdered. The Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, named the dead man as Alessandro Parini, 35. Five other British and Italian tourists – including a 74-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl – were receiving medical treatment for injuries.
Police said they shot and killed the driver of the car and identified him as a 45-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel from the village of Kafr Qassem.
Israel began calling up thousands of police and army reservists on Saturday who are now being stationed throughout the country and on Israel’s borders.