Israel downs armed Iran drone as Biden urges 'de-escalation'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Wikimedia Commons)

President Biden, who has reentered talks with Iran, urged Israel to immediately ‘de-escalate’ the fighting with Iran-backed Hamas terrorists shortly before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed Israel downed a drone launched by Iran armed with explosives.

Netanhayu said Thursday the drone was launched by Iranian forces from either Syria or Iraq. It was shot down by Israel Defense Forces as it approached Israeli airspace near the city of Beit She’an at about 4 a.m. Tuesday morning.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu rejected Biden’s call for an immediate “significant de-escalation” in the fighting, vowing in an address to the nation that the defensive operation will continue “to return the calm and security to you, citizens of Israel.”

CNN cited an unnamed senior Biden administration official who said the president has become increasingly impatient with Netanyahu following a “blunt phone call” this week between the two in which Biden set a deadline for the violence to ease.

Biden has been viewed as a supporter of Israel for his nearly five decades in Washington. But he recently has been pressured by fellows Democrats to condemn Israel’s actions to defend itself against an onslaught by Hamas of more than 4,000 Iran-financed rockets. On Tuesday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., whose grandmother lives on the West Bank, confronted Biden. She told the president, according to her office, that the U.S. “cannot continue to give the right-wing Netanyahu government billions each year to commit crimes against Palestinians.”

Iran provides ‘scaffolding’ for terror groups

Iran’s armed drone incursion was its second, noted the Times of Israel. In 2018, an Israeli helicopter shot down an armed Iranian drone that had been flown from Syria into northern Israel.

Netanhayu on Thursday pointed to Iran’s provision of support and technical assistance to terror groups throughout the Middle East. The groups include Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which also receives weapons and other help from Iran.

“They provide the scaffolding on which these organizations really work,” Netanyahu said.

Hamas, short for the Islamic Resistance Movement, exists for the purpose of eliminating the Jewish state, according to its “covenant.”

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it,” the preamble states.

Israel has been defending itself from Iran-allied militias on its border in Syria, including Hezbollah, with a nearly decade-long bombing campaign.

In Gaza, Hamas has launched more than 4,000 Iran-financed rockets aimed at Israel while deploying explosive, “suicide” drones built with the help of Tehran.

The intent of the drones is to evade Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system, which has intercepted about 90% of the rockets that reach Israel airspace, according to the IDF.

‘Rewarded’ for aggression

Last week, amid a barrage of Hamas rockets on Israel, State Department spokesman Ned Price drew a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

“Israel has the right to defend itself and respond to rocket attacks. The Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security, just as Israelis do,” he said.

Israel-American journalist Caroline Glick contends that the two major causes of the current conflict are “Palestinian incitement” and “the support the Palestinians receive from the Biden administration.”

The Palestinian Authority claimed Israel was defiling and threatening the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount after Israel police were forced to defend Jewish worshippers from rock and stone attacks launched from the mosque.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has signaled it is replacing Trump’s support for Israel with support for the Palestinians, Glick said, restoring funding to the PA despite its unceasing support for terrorism. Biden also reinstated U.S. funding of United Nations agencies, such as UNRWA, which work with Hamas and “disseminate Nazi-like anti-Semitism.”

The message to Hamas, Fatah and the Israeli Arabs, Glick said, is that they “can attack Jews and blame Israel and the Jews for their aggression, and the Biden administration will fund them, defend them and even adopt their anti-Semitic narratives. Palestinians are now certain they will be rewarded, not punished, for their aggression.”

Biden also has announced the U.S. intends to rejoin the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has condemned Israel more than any other country, by far.

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