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‘No choice but to respond,’ Israel tells US as Netanyahu weighs strike options in Iran

Israel wants to send message without further escalation

F15 Israeli fighter jet (Photo: IDF).

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told the United States that Israel has no choice but to retaliate against Iran, after the regime launched a large-scale drone and missile assault against Israel on Sunday.

In a phone call with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday, Gallant told Austin that allowing such a large-scale attack to go unanswered would signal to Iran that it can attack Israel whenever it launches airstrikes against Iranian interests in Syria, Axios reported.

The Iranian regime claimed the attack was a response to an alleged Israeli airstrike in Damascus, Syria, that killed seven senior Iranian officers on April 1.

Austin reportedly reiterated U.S. President Joe Biden’s stance that Israel should “take the win” and forgo a counter-attack, which the U.S. would not support.

Israel’s War Cabinet met on Monday and is expected to make a final decision on whether to strike back and by which method in another meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

The Washington Post reported that the IDF presented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with several target options, including a strike on a facility in the capital of Tehran, as well as a strategic cyber attack.

Israel intends to send a strong message that will not result in casualties, an Israeli official told the Post.

“Our allies do not want us to go for an over-the-top response, and we want to work with our allies, especially after the success we enjoyed with them. We don’t have to cause casualties, but it’s important that we do respond because it sends a message to all those who want to harm us,” he said.

Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that during Monday’s cabinet meeting, a range of strike options were discussed, including some which could be carried out immediately.

According to the report, Israel intends to coordinate any action it decides to take with Washington, even if the Biden administration doesn’t directly support a strike against Iran. In addition, Israel assured its Arab neighbors that they would not be in danger, Israel’s KAN News reported, after Iran repeatedly threatened countries not to assist Israel. Israel has reached out to Jordan, Egypt and some of the Gulf states that a response would not implicate them in the action.

On Tuesday morning, KAN reported that the Kingdom of Jordan had reinforced aerial patrols and, in an apparent nod to Iran, announced it wouldn’t allow any element to use its airspace for any reason.

Jordan allegedly allowed Israeli fighter jets into its airspace early on Sunday morning to shoot down Iranian drones and missiles, with the Royal Jordanian Air Force taking an active role in the counter-attack.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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