Israel War Cabinet Decides On Military Response To Iran Even As Blinken Pleads ‘Not In Anyone’s Interest’

Israel’s war cabinet has just decided on a response to Iran’s weekend attack, according to a breaking report by the country’s Kan public broadcaster. At this point, it seems a matter of if, not when—even as the US (and European countries) lean on Israel not to escalate. Below is the Hebrew media statement at the conclusion of Tuesday’s high-level meeting (machine translation):

Israel has decided how to respond to Iran’s missile attack. This was reported Tuesday evening on Kan 11 evening news. Israel is now waiting to “seize an opportunity.” The agreement came against the backdrop of significant disagreements in the Israeli leadership over the timing and nature of the response. Some ministers demanded to wait for agreement on the international coalition, while others thought it was necessary to respond immediately.

Sources at the same time is reporting that US Secretary of State Blinken just told a group of American Jewish leaders that the White House wants to see no further escalation, essentially signalling the Washington position that a return to status quo before the massive Iranian attack on Saturday is desirable.

The report cites Blinken as saying that “further escalation with Iran is not in the interests of either the U.S. or Israel, as three people who attended the meeting told sources.” According to more details:

  • The U.S. assessment is that Iran would respond to any significant, overt Israeli strike on Iranian soil with a new round of missile and drone attacks, a senior U.S. official told sources.
  • “We think it will be very hard to replicate the huge success we had on Saturday with defeating the attack if Iran launches hundreds of missiles and drones again—and the Israelis know it,” another U.S. official said.

And via Al Jazeera Arabic: The Israeli Broadcasting Authority, according to a source, ministers asked Netanyahu to slow down and wait for the formation of an alliance in the region against it.

This puts Biden in an interesting dilemma (largely of his own making): while the US military intercepted dozens of the drones and ballistic missiles that rained down over Israel on Saturday night, US pleadings to go ahead and “take the win” (as Biden put it to Bibi in a weekend phone call) are falling on deaf ears.

At the moment, Iran is in the driver’s seat, but Israel feels it must not let Tehran off ‘scot-free’ (in the words of the IDF spokesman).

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Zero Hedge

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