Israeli Security Cabinet Directs War Cabinet to Respond to Iran’s Attack, Says Official

Israeli Security Cabinet Directs War Cabinet to Respond to Iran’s Attack, Says Official

The Israeli security cabinet has authorized the 3-man war cabinet to decide on Israel’s response to the Iranian attack, following a late night meeting Saturday.

The authorization comes after Israel faced more than 200 “threats,” according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The war cabinet comprises Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu; Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Home Front Command has cancelled its request for residents across the country to stay close to shelters.

The reversal comes hours after the Israel Defense Forces instructed residents of several parts of northern Israel to stay near protected spaces and mandated that residents wait in “the most protected area possible” for at least 10 minutes “upon the activation of sirens.”

Early Sunday, the Israeli Army said that 99 per cent of the launches had been intercepted.

“The Iranian attack was foiled,” military spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said in a televised statement.

US President Joe Biden reiterated Washington’s “ironclad” support for Israel after an urgent meeting with his top security officials on the spiralling crisis.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed a drone and missile attack was launched against Israel in retaliation for the Damascus strike which killed seven guards, two of them generals.

The guards said ballistic missiles were fired almost an hour after the slower moving drones.

Hundreds of Iranians gathered in Tehran’s Palestine Square waving Iranian and Palestinian flags in a show of support for the military action against Israel.

Iran’s allies in the region joined the attack, with Yemen’s Tehran-backed Huthi rebels also launching drones at Israel, according to security agency Ambrey.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement announced it had fired rockets at Israeli positions in the annexed Golan Heights around the same time, as well as a second barrage hours later.

Tehran’s official IRNA news agency said the attack had dealt “heavy blows” to an air base in the Negev desert, but the Israeli army said there had only been minor damage.

The Iranian mission to the United Nations warned Washington to keep out of Iran’s conflict with Israel.

“It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!” it said.

It added that it hoped Iran’s action to punish the strike on its diplomatic mission would lead to no further escalation and “the matter can be deemed concluded”.

But despite Tehran’s warning not to get involved, US forces took part in shooting down drones aimed at Israel.

Biden said in a statement that the United States had “helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles”.

The US president later said he told Netanyahu during a phone call “that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks — sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel”.

News outlet Axios said Biden had told Netanyahu that he would oppose an Israeli counterattack against Iran and that he should “take the win”.

Before Tehran launched its attack on Saturday, the Israeli military warned Iran it would suffer the “consequences for choosing to escalate the situation any further”.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned Iran’s “reckless” action and pledged his government would “continue to stand up for Israel’s security”.

France echoed the commitment to Israel, with Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne saying “Iran has reached a new level of destabilisation”.

Egypt, which regularly acts as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, said it was in “direct contact with all sides to the conflict to try to contain the situation”.

And regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia urged parties to exercise “restraint and spare the region and its peoples from the dangers of war”.

China, meanwhile, characterised the attack as “the latest spillover of the Gaza conflict” and called for the implementation of a recent UN Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in the besieged Palestinian territory, saying more than six months of fighting “must end now”.

The Security Council was to meet at around 2000 GMT Sunday to discuss the latest crisis at Israel’s request, its current president, Malta said.