Israel Will Respond To Iran Missile Attack – IDF War Cabinet Declares

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Israel Will Respond To Iran Missile Attack – IDF War Cabinet Declares

Israel’s top general has said the country will respond to Iran’s missile and drone attack, but it remains unclear what form that response will take and whether it will be so forceful that it could tip a worsening spiral of violence into a full-scale regional war.

US officials said on Monday that some form of counter to Iran’s attack, which involved more than 300 missiles and drones, was almost inevitable, but the Biden administration was still hoping it would be a limited counterstrike and not aimed at Iranian territory.

The Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, gave the clearest confirmation so far since the attack that Israel would strike back.

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“This launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles and drones into Israeli territory will be met with a response,” Halevi said, speaking from the Nevatim air force base in southern Israel, which was lightly damaged in the attack.

Israel’s war cabinet met for the fourth time in the last two days on Monday afternoon, as the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, his defence minister, Yoav Gallant, and Benny Gantz, the former defence minister and centrist Netanyahu rival, again discussed how to walk the tightrope between escalation and deterrence.

“We respect that that’s a decision the war cabinet, the prime minister, have to make. We know that they live in a very tough neighbourhood,” the White House national security spokesperson, John Kirby, told CNN on Monday. But he added that Joe Biden had “also been very clear that we don’t want a war with Iran. We don’t seek to widen and broaden this conflict. We don’t want to see things escalate.”

A range of options were discussed during a meeting that lasted several hours, Israel’s Channel N12 News reported, which would show Iran its actions had crossed a red line without triggering an even bigger response, as Tehran has threatened.

N12 reported that Israel intended to coordinate with the US on its response, but the Biden administration has said repeatedly it will not take part or assist any Israeli counterattack. US officials appeared resigned on Monday that the Israeli government would not heed Biden’s advice to “take the win” of having shot down the overwhelming majority of incoming Iranian missiles and drones on Saturday night and Sunday morning, and that there would be some sort of Israeli response.

The IDF claims it shot down 99% of the drones and ballistic and cruise missiles. But it was later reported that many of the Iranian munitions had failed to launch or fell far short of their targets.

In the end, only four Iranian missiles struck in and around the Nevatim base.

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By Abia ThinkTank

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