Post assassination of top Iranian military commander, the Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu heaped praises on his American counterpart. But after a security cabinet meeting on Monday, Israel distanced itself from the assassination, calling it "not an Israeli event, but an American event".
Israel distances itself from Soleimani's assassination
Donald Trump's closest and most trusted ally Israel, initially, welcomed the American drone strike at Soleimani's convoy at Baghdad International Airport that killed the military leader.
"President Trump is deserving of all esteem for taking determined, strong and quick action. I would like to reiterate, Israel fully stands alongside the US in the just struggle for security, peace and self-defense", the initial statement read.
But post a security cabinet meeting on Monday, Israel has reportedly distanced itself from the event, which has the potential to push middle-east into another cycle of instability, violence and bloodshed. After the meeting, many of Netanyahu's ministers spoke about Israel distancing itself from Qassem Soleimani's assassination.
"The assassination of Soleimani isn't an Israeli event but an American event. We were not involved and should not be dragged into it", they said, according to Axios, that cited two ministers who attended the meeting. The prime minister gave further instructions for Cabinet officials not to engage the press in commentary about the attack, to make sure that Israel's rivals don't get the impression that it was involved in the assassination.
Iran's retaliation is yet to be seen
Netanyahu has never distanced Israel from America's unilateral decisions. Iran's retaliation is yet to be seen. It is widely believed that it would respond, once the three-days mourning, announced by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini, ends on Tuesday.
Though, Israeli sites might be targeted in Iranian retaliation. "Iran's revenge against America for the assassination of Soleimani will be severe. Haifa and Israeli military centers will be included in the retaliation," Mohsen Rezaei, former chief of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) said in a televised speech to mourners in Tehran.
Interestingly, just a few weeks earlier, in a closed-door meeting, Netanyahu told cabinet members that he believed Trump would not act against Iran until the 2020 elections were behind him, according to Israeli news outlets.