Israel readies for military response to Iran attack: reports

Israel readies for military response to Iran attack: reports
Israel has decided to retaliate over Iran’s attack on the country and was weighing the timing and nature of its response, according to Israeli media reports.
3 min read
17 April, 2024
Israeli government ministers recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu target sensitive facilities in Iran [Getty]

Israel has decided on its response to Iran's retaliatory attack and is now waiting for an opportunity to "exploit", the Kan 11 public broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

Details of the decision were unclear but it comes amid major differences in opinion among the Israeli officials regarding the timing and nature of Tel Aviv's response.

Some Israeli ministers have called for restraint and to engage with regional partners and potential Arab allies, while others want an immediate response - be that direct strikes on Iran or its proxies.

Iran attacked Israel using drones and missiles over the weekend in retaliation for an Israeli strike on Tehran's consulate in Damascus on 1 April, which killed several people including three senior commanders.

Israel is facing international pressure not to take major escalatory steps, with European and US allies lining up their own diplomatic and economic measures against Tehran to prevent a military response by Israel.

Kan 11 reported that an unnamed diplomatic source said Europe was ready to "go far" with imposing sanctions on Iran but some Israeli ministers were pushing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to target sensitive facilities in Iran.

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Disagreements among the Israeli officials continue though most decision-makers believe the country's response must be carried out "as soon as possible", Kan 11 reported.

"With every passing day, the chances of a major retaliatory strike occurring in Iran diminish," an unnamed senior government official said.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement issued by his office that Iran will not succeed in deterring Israel, nor will it prevent it from "acting against any attempt to grow in power in the Middle East".

However, he failed to refer to an in-kind response regarding the Iranian attack, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

He told soldiers on the northern border with Lebanon that Iran had launched 500 missiles and drones and that all were intercepted except four ballistic missiles.

"The Iranians will not be able to implement a different equation of deterrence against the state of Israel," Gallant added.

"[Israeli] Air Force planes operate everywhere, the skies of the Middle East are open, and we will know how to strike any enemy fighting against us, wherever they are."

The increased tensions between Israel and Iran come as Tel Aviv continues to wage its brutal war against the Gaza Strip, which began more than six months ago.

The Israeli military campaign has so far killed 33,899 people, the Gaza health ministry said on Wednesday.

The International Court of Justice found in February that Israel was plausibly breaching the UN Genocide Convention in Gaza.

Hezbollah and Yemen's Houthi rebels, both allies of Iran, have engaged in escalations with Israel amid the war on the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Israel said on Tuesday that its strikes in south Lebanon killed two local Hezbollah commanders and another operative, with the Lebanese group saying three of its members were killed as it launched rockets in retaliation.

Hezbollah and Israeli forces have been trading cross-border fire since the day after the Gaza war began.

Agencies contributed to this report.