Potential War in Limbo as Israel Considers Options

The Israeli war cabinet
The Israeli war cabinet and top security officials meet in Tel Aviv on April 14, after Iran's missile and drone attack on Israel. | Image by Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO

Israel’s war cabinet convened on Sunday to discuss the country’s response to Iran’s unprecedented aerial attack on the Jewish state the previous day, though reports indicate no immediate military operation is underway.

Speaking with CNN, an unnamed Israeli official claimed that the determination to respond was there, but the military had yet to formulate the appropriate timing and scope. Furthermore, an unidentified U.S. official purportedly told the news outlet that Israel does not necessarily want to escalate the situation.

“Now is the time for maximum restraint,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said during an emergency session of the UN Security Council. “The people of the region are confronting a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict. Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate. It’s time to step back from the brink. It is vital to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East.”

For the first time in history, Iran launched a barrage of missiles, rockets, and drones from its own soil at Israel in response to the country’s alleged attack against the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, on April 1, which killed several high-ranking Iranian military leaders, as reported by The Dallas Express.

Leaders from around the world have called on Israel to show restraint in responding to the Iranian attack for fear of escalating a wider conflict with the potential to ignite a nuclear war. Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons but denies the existence of such weapons. Meanwhile, Iran is feared to be working on nuclear armament since exiting from an Obama-era agreement that would have limited the nation’s nuclear ambitions to power projects. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the pact, calling the deal “one of the worst, one-sided deals the U.S. has ever entered into,” according to White House archives.

“We’re considering it all,” President Isaac Herzog told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday. “We’re acting cool-headedly and lucidly. I think we’re operating in a very focused way and very responsible way, and I’m sure there will be a decision accordingly that will make sure that we protect and defend the people of Israel.”

Around 99% of the missiles, rockets, and drones fired at Israel were intercepted. Israel received help from Jordan and the U.S. in defeating the barrage. At least one device struck a military air base but caused only minor damage. A 10-year-old in southern Israel was injured by shrapnel, but no other casualties were reported.

Jordan informed both nations that any intrusion of its airspace for an offensive attack would be dealt with, as reported by CNN. Leaders from Egypt and the United States, among other nations, are discussing the attack with Israeli counterparts and are seeking a de-escalation to prevent a wider conflict.

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