According to a report from Israeli TV, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz tried to order a military operation without consulting Israel’s security cabinet.
Under Israeli law, Netanyahu and Gantz can order military operations but must gain the approval of the security cabinet if the mission could spark a war. The report from Israel’s Kan public broadcaster said Netanyahu sought to bypass the cabinet but ultimately decided to consult with some ministers due to the complexity of the mission, and the operation was approved and carried out.
The report offered no details of what the military operation consisted of and only said it was approved to “send a message to the other side.” In recent weeks, Israel has bombed Syria and Gaza and has carried covert attacks against Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility and Iranian ships in the region.
Netanyahu’s office denied the report, calling it a “total lie.” The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that any military operation is “approved by the mechanisms and processes that have been in place for years and as stipulated by law.”
Israel has stepped up attacks covert against Iran as indirect negotiations between Washington and Tehran aimed at reviving the nuclear deal are ongoing. While there’s little doubt Israel is behind recent incidents, Israeli officials rarely acknowledge their role in such attacks, and attribution is usually made through leaks to the media.