IDF officials ordered civil authorities in the Golan Heights to open civilian bomb shelters Tuesday as US President Donald Trump announced he would pull the United States out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the Islamic Republic and the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent members of United Nations Security Council plus Germany that limited Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for economic relief.
Earlier in the evening, IDF officials instructed local governments in the Golan Heights to open municipal bomb shelters after detecting irregular Iranian activity in Syria, and said the army had deployed in an “expanded defensive posture” to respond to a cross-border attack from Syria and would prepare the civilian population on the Golan Heights accordingly.
“The IDF is prepared for any situation and warns that any action directed against Israel will be answered with a strong reaction,” the IDF Spokesman’s Unit said in a media statement.
Katzrin Mayor Dima Apartsev told the Hebrew-language Hadashot (news) program that the city’s shelters have been open for the past week but that other than that the region has maintained a normal routine.
“The shelters here have been open for a week. We’re ready (should anything happen), but right now we are just keeping to our normal routine and keeping our eyes open,” Apartsev said.
Responding to Trump’s announcement, Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Trump for making an “historic move” and praised the president as a “courageous leader… (who has demonstrated his) commitment to confronting the regime in Tehran and ensuring that Iran never, ever gets nuclear weapons – not today, not in 10 years, not ever.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely added that Trump has “once again proved that he has the courage to tell the truth” and said that “an Iran under a strict regime of sanctions is preferable to an Iran that is using the cover of an agreement in order to move full-speed-ahead towards a nuclear weapon.”
“This is a historic decision that provides the prospect for a new era of security and stability in the Middle East. A united front against this regime that promotes terror and sows instability can put an end to the Iranian aggression which threatens our region and the entire international community,” added Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon.
Significantly, praise for Trump’s move was not limited to the governing coalition. Predictably, members of the Joint List Party slammed the president for “endangering all of our security” and reaffirmed the group’s commitment to “dialogue and agreements.”
But Zionist parties unanimously said the move was the correct one. “I congratulate President Trump for his steadfast stance alongside Israel,” said Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid. “Now, we must gather all our diplomatic strength in order to ensure that the Iranians, the Chinese and the Russians join this process and prevent Iran from returning to developing a nuclear weapon.
“Just as I supported the government’s efforts to nix the agreement in the past, now, too we will not act with ‘opposition vs. coalition’ considerations, but rather to restore sanctions and to block Iran,” Lapid said.