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Israel promises painful response to Iranian actions

1 min

During a war Cabinet meeting on Monday afternoon, Israeli officials weighed several options regarding how the country might respond to Iran’s Saturday attack, which was, in turn, in retaliation against Israel’s strike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

Daniel Hagari © JTE

During a war Cabinet meeting on Monday afternoon, Israeli officials weighed several options regarding how the country might respond to Iran’s Saturday attack, which was, in turn, in retaliation against Israel’s strike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

According to Israeli media, while officials are planning a “painful” response, the course of action is being calculated in such a way as to avoid triggering a regional war. Israel is also hoping to come up with a plan that would not be blocked by the US, which has expressed it would not support further Israeli attacks against Iran.

According to a US official cited by Axios, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday that Israel has no choice but to respond to the salvo of around 320 missiles and drones that were launched by Iran. 

The attack, which was the first to be launched directly from Iranian territory against Israeli territory, was a formidable show of force but resulted in very little damage and no casualties.

Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari claimed that 99 percent of the incoming missiles and drones were intercepted, a claim that has not been verified and varies from other statements, although most reports agree that the vast majority of missiles did not touch down in Israel.

Two US officials told CBS news that five ballistic missiles evaded air defenses and hit Israeli air territory, four striking the Nevatim airbase, in the Negev desert in southern Israel, causing minor damage.

The US has signaled it won't support any retaliatory attack by Israel on Iran, but the Wall Street Journal reported that despite what appears to be a clear line drawn by Israel’s key ally, US officials are still anticipating that Israel will launch an attack as early as Monday. 

The officials told WSJ that they are hoping both Israel and Iran could come away from the confrontations with a sense of victory that would soothe tensions and prevent escalation.

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