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Following Iran’s retaliatory strikes, opposition leader blames Netanyahu, calls him 'existential threat to Israel'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid has vehemently rebuked Benjamin Netanyahu over his far-right administration's failure to confront Iran’s retaliatory strikes on the occupied territories.

Lapid said in a post on his X social media account on Monday that the Israeli prime minister's cabinet was to blame for a “total loss of Israeli deterrence” against Iran’s unprecedented attack in the late hours of Saturday.

The opposition leader also said that Netanyahu’s cabinet has “destroyed” the Israeli deterrence, adding, “This prime minister has become an existential threat to Israel.”

In a separate statement on X, Lapid called on Israeli ministers to “stop talking and threatening Iran in the media.”

In an attack, dubbed Operation True Promise, Iran launched late on Saturday hundreds of drones and missiles at the Israeli-occupied territories in response to the regime's aggression on the Iranian diplomatic facilities in the Syrian capital of Damascus on April 1.

The Israeli airstrikes on Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus killed two generals of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, as well as five of their accompanying officers.

In response, the IRGC targeted on April 13 the Israeli-occupied territories with a barrage of drones and missiles. The extent of the damage on Israeli military bases across the occupied territories is yet to be specified.

Following the reprisal, Iran warned Israel against taking any retaliatory actions and also urged the US to try not to involve itself in the conflict and signaled that it viewed the matter as “concluded.”

“If the Zionist regime or its supporters demonstrate reckless behavior, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response,” Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi said in a statement on Sunday.

A similar warning was issued by Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri, who said that a “much larger” response awaits Israel “if it retaliates against Iran.”

Baqeri also warned the US that any backing of Israeli retaliation would result in its bases being targeted by Iran.

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami also warned that Tehran would retaliate against any Israeli attacks on its interests, officials or citizens.

“From now on, whenever Israel attacks Iranian interests, assets, figures, citizens at any point, we will attack from Iran,” he said.

Meanwhile, Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations also said in a statement on Sunday that Tehran’s response to Israeli aggression was a “legitimate defense” in accordance with the UN charter, warning the US to “stay away” from the matter.

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