Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the Security Cabinet at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv after the surprise attack by Hamas, Oct. 7, 2023.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to the Kirya IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv on Saturday as Israel’s War Cabinet and Security Cabinet prepared to convene ahead of an anticipated “imminent” attack by Iran.

The Israeli cabinet is also scheduled to meet at 12:30 am (half an hour after midnight Saturday night) in the Kirya’s “Pit” — the Israeli version of the White House “situation room” — underground in the base.


The prime minister released an announcement Saturday evening ahead of the meetings, saying, “In recent years, and even more so in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran.

“Our defense systems are deployed, we are prepared for any scenario, both in defense and attack. The State of Israel is strong, the IDF is strong, the public is strong.

“We appreciate the US standing by Israel’s side, as well as the support of Great Britain, France and many other countries.

“I established a clear principle – whoever hurts us, we hurt him. We will protect ourselves from any threat and we will do so with coolness and determination.

“I know that you citizens of Israel are also keeping your cool. I urge you to listen to the directives of the Home Front Command. Together we will stand, and with G-d’s help – together we will overcome all our enemies.”

Airspace Closing in Israel, Jordan, Iran
Israel announced that airspace over the Jewish State will be closed beginning at 1 am Sunday — an hour after midnight Saturday night.

Israel’s Air Force 1 Mobile Command Center, meanwhile, has already taken to the skies.

The Jordanian government has temporarily closed its airspace Saturday night to all incoming and departing air traffic, according to the state-owned Al Mamlaka news agency.

Iran closed its airspace around its capital, Tehran, with reports varying about the length of the closure.

US Standing Firm with Israel
US Central Command General Michael Kurilla meanwhile departed from Israel on Saturday night after a two-day visit to the Jewish State to coordinate plans for a response to any attack by Iran.

During his stay Kurilla met with Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, among others.

“Our enemies think that they can pull apart Israel and the United States, but the opposite is true,” Gallant said in a statement following their meeting. “They are bringing us together and strengthening our ties.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder. We are prepared to defend ourselves on the ground and in the air in close cooperation with our partners and we will know how to respond.”

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, on Saturday morning by phone to “discuss urgent regional threats, and reiterated unwavering US support for Israel’s defense,” according to a statement from the Pentagon.

“Israel could count on full US support to defend Israel against any attacks by Iran and its regional proxies,” the statement added.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said he spoke with Israel’s National Security Council chief Tzachi Hanegbi on Saturday morning to discuss the threatened attack.

“During the call I reiterated the United States’ ironclad commitment to the security of Israel,” Sullivan said.

During a news conference on Friday US President Joe Biden warned in a terse message to Iran, “Don’t.” Biden told reporters that he expects Iran to attack Israel “sooner than later,” although he did not reveal the intelligence that provided the information.

The president cut short his weekend vacation in light of the fast-moving events in the Middle East, and returned to the White House for consultations.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.