The National Security Cabinet (NSC), also known as the “inner cabinet,” usually meets in the Prime Minister’s building in Jerusalem. However, according to Channel 10, Netanyahu now fears leaks due to “sensitive discussions on Syria and Iran”.
Only meetings by the National Crisis Management Center, responsible for emergency planning and response during times of war or national crises, is normally held in the Jerusalem underground bunker.
It has been reported that “two security cabinet meetings have been already held in the secure bunker and according to the schedules of several ministers”. Sources within the cabinet speaking under condition of anonymity told Channel 10: “Netanyahu’s moved the security cabinet meetings to the bunker because of the fear of leaks from sensitive discussions on Syria and Iran.”
The next four security cabinet meeting are also planned to take place in the underground facility.
According to YNet news, the bunker cost “hundreds of millions of shekels” and was constructed “to enable the government to run the country in times of emergency”.
Arutz Sheva, another Israeli news outlet, has reported that the cabinet meetings have been taking place in a soundproofed room.
The number of people who can enter the bunker is limited to a geat extent, and as a result, ministers’ assistants are no longer able to attend the meetings. In addition, cell phones are banned.
Netanyahu’s NSC now has the power to go to war and execute war plans without the consent of the Israeli government. At the beginning of the month, the bill passed from the government to the cabinet approved the premier’s authority to go to war or to carry out a military operation.
“Iran is already well on its way to controlling Iraq, Yemen and to a large extent is already in practice in control of Lebanon,” Netanyahu told the media in August after meeting with Russia’s President Putin. “We cannot forget for a single minute that Iran threatens to annihilate Israel every day. Israel opposes Iran’s continued entrenchment in Syria. We will be sure to defend ourselves with all means against this and any threat.”
And after Monday’s bellicose speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, vowing that Tehran will struggle to “keep its economy alive” if it does not comply with a list of 12 US demands, including Iranian withdrawal from Syria, Netanyahu hailed the tough new US strategy on Iran as “the right policy”.