During the early pre-dawn hours of Thursday, the Israeli air force reportedly pounded several proxy Iranian militia targets according to the Syrian government. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that 12 militiamen were killed.

The Syrian military released a statement through the Syrian state news agency SANA claiming that they downed a number of missiles. “Our air defenses confronted an Israeli attack” west of the capital, SANA reported, adding that the attack was carried out from the airspace in the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. However, most defense analysts routinely dismiss such claims as bluster. 

Television reports showed explosions in the air over Damascus as Syrian air defense missiles exploded in the air. 

Residents reported that the supposed Israeli strikes hit about 01:15 a.m. and targeted the al-Kiswah district — a known Iranian operational hub — outside of Damascus as well as Marj al-Sultan and Jisr Baghdad. Israel has in the past admitted targeting targets in Syria as it has been clear that it will not tolerate any Iranian bases on their border. 

SANA reported that at least three government and Iranian positions near Damascus were targeted.

As is the official policy of Israel, it didn’t assume or decline responsibility for the attacks. IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said he was aware of the “foreign reports” about airstrikes in Syria but wouldn’t confirm or deny the report. 

The Israeli government has accused Iran of setting up these proxy groups to attack Israel. Its policy is to respond to any attack coming from Syria: They’ve conducted hundreds of retaliatory strikes and have targeted Syrian air defense units that have fired on Israeli aircraft. The Iranian-led militias, including Hezbollah, have been frequently targeted in recent months as the violence has escalated. 

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, violence has increased with three Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli security forces in Jenin. In Jerusalem, a terrorist suspect driving a KIA ran over 12 Israeli soldiers in the First Station area. One of the soldiers is in serious condition. According to reports, the terrorist suspect saw the group of soldiers marching next to the street carrying out normal military activities when the car sped toward them and attempted to mow them all down. The terrorist abandoned his car and escaped on foot. He was described by witnesses as a Palestinian. The other 11 soldiers were only slightly wounded. 

Photo of a missile strike in Damascus: (Twitter).

In another attack, a terrorist gunman was killed by police at the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem when he tried to shoot two Border Police guards. One guard was lightly wounded in the hand.

In Bethlehem, 79 Palestinians were treated, most for tear gas inhalation, after police broke up violent demonstrations with the IDF — four were wounded by rubber bullets. 

This latest uptick in violence comes on the heels of the Trump Peace Plan, which was roundly dismissed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before he even heard its details because he knew that part of the peace plan would have to be living alongside Israel in peace. And neither he nor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khameini in Iran will ever abandon their plan of eliminating the Jewish state. 

Khameini was inciting Palestinians to further violence calling for “bold resistance by the Palestinian nation and groups to force out the Zionist enemy and the U.S. through jihad, [which] all Muslim nations and the world of Islam must support.”

Iran, he added, “considers it its duty to support Palestinian groups and will help them in any way it can.”