Israel deciding on its response to Iran’s weekend attack, AP explains

(15 Apr 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jerusalem – 15 April 2024
++STARTS ON SOUNDBITE++
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Joe Federman, Associated Press:
"Israel is plotting its response to Iran’s weekend attack. Israel says that Iran launched over 300 missiles and attack drones toward Israel overnight Sunday. The Iranians say this strike was a response to an Israeli airstrike that killed two Iranian generals in Syria earlier this month. Israel says the vast majority, about 99% of the incoming fire, was intercepted or shot down. That’s thanks to Israel’s air defenses, but also the result of cooperation with an international alliance that included American forces, British forces, the Jordanians and apparently tacit support from other Arab countries. Now Israel faces a difficult decision as it decides whether to respond. Any response would put this new alliance to a test. This is something that the U.S. has been leading, trying to bring together Israel with Arab countries very quietly, behind the scenes, in a united front against Iran. If Israel decides to strike alone, that could put some strain on this alliance. Israel also would risk opening up a new front with Iran at a time when it is still fighting a war in Gaza. That war is over six months old. There are many voices in Israel saying, now is not the time to be opening a new front, and Israel has to remain focused on that war in Gaza. But there are other voices in the Israeli government saying that Israel must send a message to Iran. Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu once again huddling with top officials and advisers for a second day, but no decision so far."
STORYLINE:
As Israel plots its response to Iran’s weekend attack, world leaders are urging Israel not to retaliate after the attack that involved hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron told the BBC on Monday the U.K. does not support a retaliatory strike, while French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris will try to “convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating.”

The Iranian attack on Saturday, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Israel says 99% of the drones and missiles launched by Iran were intercepted. That’s thanks to Israel’s air defenses, but also the result of cooperation with an international alliance that included American forces, British forces, the Jordanians and apparently tacit support from other Arab countries.

Now Israel faces a difficult decision as it decides whether to respond, according to AP’s Joe Federman

Any response would put this new alliance to a test, he says.

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