Islamic Jihad, Gaza
Islamic Jihad, Gaza Flash 90

National Security Council head Maj. Gen. Meir Ben-Shabat met last Wednesday with Central Election Commission Chairman Chanan Meltzer and told him that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intends to embark on a military operation in the Gaza Strip, which could lead to postponing the elections.

According to a report in Haaretz newspaper, Ben-Shabat met with Meltzer after the rocket fire on Ashdod and Ashkelon, asking him to prepare for the possibility of the elections being postponed.

The rocket fire from Gaza forced Netanyahu to retreat to a protected area during an election speech in Ashdod. The Prime Minister convened a security consultation in IDF haKirya HQ with the participation of Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argman, Mossad head Yossi Cohen, and NSC chief Ben Shabbat.

Meir ben Shabbat
Hezki Baruch

In the consultation, Netanyahu pushed for a response in Gaza. Some present expressed reservations about the attack's intensity, and sought approval from the Cabinet because such a response could result in a widespread military operation.

Haaretz reported that during the security consultation, the Attorney General made clear that a decision on such a move should be made with Cabinet approval.

That night, the Israeli Air Force attacked a relatively large number of targets in Gaza, but it was still considered a limited attack. In retrospect, according to the publication, it turns out that the relatively moderate nature of the response stemmed from opposition by some senior security officials - but mainly from opposition by Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit.

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