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Israeli press review: Smotrich criticises Lapid's call for restraint

Meanwhile, First-time use of David's Slingshot defence system since 2018, and Palestinians remember the Nakba 75 years on
Israel's Iron Dome air defence system intercepts rockets launched from Gaza City, in Sderot, 10 May 2023 (AFP)

Smotrich criticises Lapid's call for restraint

Israel's far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Thursday slammed opposition leader Yair Lapid, who called for the end of the military operation against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"He is mainly making fun of himself, on what basis [is he] calling for the operation to be stopped?" said Smotrich.

"What intelligence picture [does he] know? There is a system of deliberations that is based on a great deal of intelligence and strategic considerations. This operation will end as soon as we think that this is what is right and good for the security of the state of Israel and its citizens."

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Smotrich said that Shield and Arrow, the operational code name given to the assault on Gaza, was achieving its goals, Maariv reported.

"An operation we started with, we initiated, we determined the place, the timing, the how," he noted, referring to the assassination of three figures in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

On Thursday, Lapid told Reshet Bet radio: “I think it’s time to pack up this event, this is the time. You always need to be exact on the question of when you exit, not just when you enter.”

He said that the operation achieved "good results… I don’t think there’s a benefit we’re waiting for. We should stop now.”

David's Slingshot

Israel used its anti-rocket system, David's Slingshot, for the first time to intercept missiles launched from the besieged Gaza Strip.

Kan reported that David's Slingshot intercepted 500 rockets launched from Gaza to Israel, with a 95 percent success since Tuesday, after Israeli forces assassinated three Islamic Jihad figures.

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The broadcaster said each of David's Slingshot's interceptor missiles cost an estimated one million dollars, while an Iron Dome missile costs 100,000 Shekels ($27,464).

Kan said that Israel's security establishment wanted to test David's Slingshot's effectiveness against medium-altitude rockets in real-time, despite the extreme cost disparity.

Israel's anti-rockets defence system consists of four parts, which include Arrow 2 for medium and long-range surface-to-surface rockets, the Arrow 3 system for long-range rockets, the Iron Dome system for short-range rocket interception, and David's Slingshot for medium and short-range rockets.

In 2018, David's Slingshot was called Magic Wand and was used to intercept rockets launched into Israel from Syria, but missed its targets. Then, Israel's Ministry of Defense disabled the system, but it was decided to test it again this week.

Israel will deploy the Iron Dome if David's Slingshot fails to intercept rockets.

'Incidental damage'

Haaretz columnist Amira Hass wrote about the stories of Palestinians who witnessed the Nakba 75 years ago which will be commemorated by the UN on 15 May.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who witnessed the bombardments of Gaza in 2008, 2012, and 2014, also fear that traumatic memories will haunt them into old age.

'Incidental damage is the citizens whose lives were taken, and numerous rounds of pain and suffering: the injured, the traumas for life'

- Amira Hass

Hass wrote that Gali Baharav-Miara, Israel's attorney general, must have thought about terms such as "incidental damage" and "proportionality" when she approved the killing of senior figures of the Islamic Jihad and the killing of their family members.

"Incidental damage", Hass wrote, is "the citizens whose lives were taken, and numerous rounds of pain and suffering: the injured, the traumas for life, the drug treatments for stress and anxiety and diabetes that developed because of the worry and fear.

"The depression, the apathy, the loss of school days and months, the medical treatments that were postponed or cancelled."

"And all this without mentioning the enormous material destruction," Hass wrote.

She added that it was becoming a challenge to describe the logic behind each round of shelling, bombing, shooting, and killing in the Gaza Strip.

"Whether it is a logic driven by momentary political and organisational considerations, long-term military, or national-patriotic considerations, when the logic is so illogical, the words strive for a dead end," she wrote.

Israeli press review is a digest of news reports not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.

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