January 7, 2020
The United states has warned its citizens in Israel and Palestinian territories Monday to be vigilant considering the risk of rocket fire, days after the targeted killing of a top Iranian general by a U.S. drone attack.
The U.S. alert does not mention the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s extraterritorial Qods force that trains and equips its proxy forces in the region, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestinian militant groups.
Israel has not yet issued an alert for its citizens. Israeli media citing government leaks said officials consider the probability of an imminent Iranian attack on Israel low.
However, Iran’s proxy might try to avenge Soleimani’s death, as when in the past they have fired rockets into Israel. Hezbollah is said to have a huge arsenal of Iranian-supplied missiles it can lob into Israel in minutes, either from Lebanon or from Syrian territory.
The U.S. message said it “strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Iran that any attack on U.S. personnel or assets will trigger a “disproportionate” response. Iranian officials have vowed to retaliate, although any action can take an indirect form.