Israeli war cabinet favours retaliation to Iranian attack, divided over timing & scale

Tel Aviv: Hours after a massive Iranian missile and drone attack, Israel’s five-member war Cabinet has favoured strong retaliation but failed to reach consensus on the timing and scale of the response even as world leaders expressed concern and called on both countries to exercise restraint.
According to the Times of Israel, US President Joe Biden has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “think carefully and strategically” before deciding on their response to the Iranian aggression.
The war cabinet, meanwhile, has suspended its discussion but is expected to reconvene soon. According to sources, Israel, who is currently fighting a war against Hamas, an Iran-backed militant outfit in the Gaza stripe, is carefully weighing options to avoid a three front war as Hezbollah in Lebanon has also stepped up its attacks on Israeli territory.
It is also under pressure from the US after the latter announced not to be part of Israel’s retaliation against the Iranian attack. The US had warned Israel hours before Iran launched its attack and even helped in intercepting the missiles and drones.
Earlier on Saturday night, Iran launched an unprecedented attack against Israel and fired some 350 ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones.
Israel claimed to have successfully intercepted 99 per cent of the incoming projectiles outside its airspace with the help of ally US.
However, slight damage was reported at a military base and one small girl reportedly sustained injuries after being hit by the shrapnel of an intercepted missile.
Meanwhile, Iran has warned Israel and its allies of a decisive and much stronger response if they launched retaliatory attacks.
“If the Zionist regime [Israel] or its supporters demonstrate reckless behaviour, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response,” Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi had said in a statement on Sunday.

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