Netanyahu says Israel intercepted drone sent by Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel has intercepted a drone sent by Iran.

The drone was dispatched from either Iraq or Syria and intercepted at Israel’s border with Jordan, Netanyahu said at a meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass in Tel Aviv, according to Bloomberg.

Netanyahu, however, did not provide evidence to bolster his claim, other than holding what he said was part of the unmanned aircraft, the outlet noted.

The prime minister accused Iran of backing and financing the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, in addition to providing weapons to the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Bloomberg reported.

Netanyahu’s announcement comes amid increased violence between Israel and Hamas, which broke out last week following Israeli police action at Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam.

Tensions between the two sides were then exacerbated by an impending, and since-postponed, Supreme Court hearing on potential eviction orders in a predominately Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Hamas began firing rockets into Israel on May 10 and Israel then retaliated.

President Biden has since called for a cease-fire in the region, telling Netanyahu during a phone call on Wednesday that he expected a “significant de-escalation” in the violence between Israel and Hamas that day to put the two sides “on the path to a ceasefire.”

Netanyahu, however, rejected Biden’s plea, later saying that Israel is “determined to continue” military operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Later on Wednesday, the international spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces said there is no sign that fighting between the two sides may be drawing to a close.

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