Israel Debates Response to Iran Missile Onslaught

 April 16, 2024

The shadow of potential war looms larger following a massive missile assault by Iran on Israel.

Daily Mail reported that Israel's leadership is wrestling with the decision of how best to retaliate after Iran's massive missile and drone attack.

Retaliation is under consideration after Iran launched a salvo of 350 missiles and drones toward Israeli soil late Saturday. The attack was in response to a suspected Israeli airstrike in Damascus, which resulted in the death of 12 Iranians.

This formidable attack prompted immediate action from Israel's war cabinet—chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—which convened on Sunday to deliberate the options on the table.

Strong Military Response Supported by Some Israeli Leaders

Within Israel's war cabinet, voices are pushing for a robust military retaliation. Nationalist figures like Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir have taken a hawkish stance. Similarly, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich emulated this perspective, emphasizing the dire need for decisive action.

"If we 'hesitate' in our response, then 'we will put ourselves and our children in existential danger,'" Ben-Gvir stated passionately during the heated cabinet discussions.

Global Calls for Restraint Amidst Tensions

Despite the domestic push for a strong military response, various world leaders have urged Israel to exercise caution. US President Joe Biden has reportedly counseled Netanyahu to leverage Israel's successful defense as a reason to de-escalate. "You got a win. Take the win," the President advised.

According to spokesman Peter Lerner, Israel's defense forces intercepted 99% of the inbound threats with substantial aid from the US, UK, France, and Jordan. Britain's Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, underscored the ineffectiveness of the Iranian offensive and cautioned Israel to balance toughness with strategic thinking.

Iran Declares "Mission Accomplished"

On the Iranian front, General Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, proclaimed the mission a success.

General Bagheri asserted the operation was concluded unless further provocations were made. "The mission is accomplished, and the operation is over, and we have no intentions of going further," he announced, albeit with a cautionary note regarding potential further operations if provoked.

While Israel fortified its defenses and positioned additional reserves near Gaza, covert actions within Iran were considered potential retaliatory measures. The attack itself had widespread implications, affecting both military and civilian locales in Israel and causing a temporary shutdown of airspace in multiple Middle Eastern countries.

U.S. and Allies Stress Need for De-escalation

The response from the international community was swift and clear. The G7 countries, including the United States, condemned Iran for the attack, emphasizing the need for restraint and advocating for de-escalation in the region.

US National Security spokesman John Kirby reiterated America's stance, focusing on avoiding an escalated conflict. "The president has been clear. We don't want to see this escalate. We're not looking for a wider war with Iran," Kirby declared, emphasizing the critical nature of maintaining regional stability.

As debates continue among Israel's allies, particularly in discussions with the White House, the appropriate response remains under careful consideration. Israeli President Isaac Herzog has also voiced his preference for peace, urging global vigilance against what he termed the "empire of evil in Tehran."


The recent missile barrage by Iran has undoubtedly escalated tensions in the Middle East, prompting urgent discussions within Israel’s war cabinet. The calls for a strong military retaliation within Israel contrast sharply with global pleas for restraint and strategic consideration.

As world leaders and Israel's officials advise caution, the next steps remain uncertain but critical for regional stability. Responses being considered include further mobilizing reserve forces and possibly engaging in covert operations, contingent upon ongoing international diplomatic efforts to defuse the situation.

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