Israeli officials debate timing and scale of retaliation against Iran

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The Israeli war cabinet failed to reach a consensus on how to respond to Iran’s unprecedented attack over the weekend, which saw hundreds of drones and missiles launched against Israel. This retaliation by Iran came after a suspected Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria earlier in the month. The lengthy discussions, lasting over three hours, revealed a division among Israeli officials regarding the timing and extent of any retaliatory action against Iran.

On April 13, Iran initiated a significant assault, deploying drones and missiles, most of which were intercepted by Israel. According to The Times of Israel, there was a proposal during the attack, suggested by War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz and Cabinet Observer Gadi Eisenkot, to strike back at Iran immediately. However, this was reportedly opposed by key figures including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. Contrary reports from Channel 12 News suggested a conflict within the cabinet, though these were denied by the Prime Minister’s Office.

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Minister Gantz commented on the situation, stating, “In the face of the Iranian threat, we will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran in the fashion and timing that is right for us. And most importantly, faced with the desire of our enemies to harm us, we will continue to unite and become stronger.” Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian claimed that Iran had given a 72-hour notice to neighboring countries and the U.S. about the impending attack, a claim that U.S. officials vehemently denied.

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The situation underscores a complex geopolitical challenge in the Middle East, highlighting the delicate balance of power and the potential for escalation. Experts suggest that Israel’s strategic decision-making process will need to consider not only immediate security concerns but also the broader regional implications of their actions against Iran.

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