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19 Apr, 2024 22:55

Israeli minister under fire for ‘lame’ Iran tweet

Itamar Ben-Gvir seemed to mock the recent strike against the Islamic Republic
Israeli minister under fire for ‘lame’ Iran tweet

One of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s key allies has been accused of damaging Israel with just one word, after making a social media post about an alleged strike on an Iranian airfield. 

Iran has brushed off multiple reports of explosions in the skies over Isfahan on Friday, while West Jerusalem declined to comment. Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, however, was not impressed by his country's response.

“Lame,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter) in Hebrew, suggesting not only that Israel was behind the strike but that it had been ineffective.

“Never before has a minister done such heavy damage to the country’s security, its image, and its international status,” opposition leader Yair Lapid responded. “In an unforgivable tweet of one word, Ben Gvir managed to sneer and shame Israel from Tehran to Washington.”

Israeli Channel 12 quoted unnamed government officials close to Netanyahu as calling Ben-Gvir “childish and irrelevant to any discussion,” but also accusing him of damaging Israel’s national security.

“He may as well be working for the enemy,” wrote podcaster Shaiel Ben-Ephraim, who pointed out that Iranian media have been citing Ben-Gvir’s tweet to mock Israel.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency had indeed quoted the minister’s social media post, noting that “even Israeli officials are laughing at them.”

Israel had vowed to “respond” to last Saturday’s drone and missile strikes by Iran, which was a reprisal for the April 1 bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria that killed several senior officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Iran acknowledged on Friday that its air defenses were activated in response to a “suspicious object,” while the country’s media reported that three small drones were shot down and that there was no damage on the ground. 

Israel does not typically confirm or deny attacks on foreign soil. West Jerusalem, however, repeatedly promised retaliation against Iran, which they accuse of masterminding the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.