ARAB AND WORLD

Thu 18 Apr 2024 10:10 am - Jerusalem Time

Netanyahu reversed an imminent strike on Iran following a phone call

Israeli and American media reported yesterday evening, Wednesday, that Tel Aviv considered quickly launching retaliatory strikes against Tehran in response to the unprecedented Iranian attack at the end of last week, but in the end it changed its mind.


The official Israeli Kan channel said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided, following a conversation with US President Joe Biden, not to implement previously approved plans to launch retaliatory strikes against Tehran if it carried out its threat to attack Israel.


The channel quoted a senior official who asked it not to publish his name, saying, “Diplomatic sensitivities played a role. (...) There will inevitably be a response, but it will be different from what was initially planned.”


In turn, the American news site Axios quoted unnamed Israeli sources as saying that during the meeting held by the Israeli War Council on Monday, which was its second meeting since the Iranian attack, the ministers carefully considered the possibility of issuing an order to carry out retaliatory strikes, but in the end they did not do so. .


Axios also quoted an American official as saying, “We do not know why and to what extent the attack was imminent (against Iran).”


According to the same website, Israel informed the US administration on Monday that it had decided to wait to strike Iran.


Axios also quotes an American official as saying that a small Israeli strike inside Iran may lead to an Iranian reaction, and that the Biden administration hopes that Tehran's response to the expected Israeli strike will be smaller than its first attack and that this will lead to an end to the mutual attacks between the two sides.


The Israeli Broadcasting Authority said that because of Netanyahu's hesitation, the expected Israeli response to Iran will be less in scale than what was approved in the war council.


Response and counter-response

For its part, the American ABC News network said that the Israeli government considered - on two occasions - launching strikes against Iran, but without issuing an order to do so.


But Netanyahu confirmed on Wednesday that Israel "reserves the right to protect itself" in the face of international pressure on his government to avoid striking Iran, and said that Tel Aviv will make its decision unilaterally regarding its response to Iranian targeting.


In turn, Iran reiterated on Wednesday, through its President Ibrahim Raisi and the Army Commander, that any Israeli response will be met with a “harsh and violent” response.


On the night of Saturday and Sunday, Tehran launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, during which it launched more than 300 projectiles, including a ballistic and winged missile and a drone.


Israel announced that it succeeded, with the help of its allies, in intercepting the vast majority of these missiles and drones, with the exception of a few ballistic missiles, which caused only limited damage.


Iran announced that it carried out the attack within the framework of what it described as “legitimate defense,” after its consulate headquarters in Damascus was destroyed on April 1 by an Israeli bombing that also resulted in the killing of a number of military leaders.


Jordan threatens

In a related context, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said yesterday, Wednesday, that any Israeli response to the Iranian strikes could create a real danger that would drag the entire region into a devastating war.


Al-Safadi said during an interview published by official media that Jordan is mobilizing what he described as great powers to confront an escalation that will have enormous consequences for the stability and security of the region.


The Foreign Minister warned that his country would take strict measures in the event of any further violence and that Jordan would not allow Iran or Israel to turn it into a "war zone."


Al-Safadi said that Jordan will shoot down any projectiles that threaten its people, violate its sovereignty, and pose a threat to the Jordanians, and that Amman has made this clear to Israel and Iran. He stated that Netanyahu is exploiting the confrontation with Iran to divert attention from the Gaza Strip and must not be allowed to drag Washington and major Western powers into a war with Iran.


Jordan, with the help of American air defenses and the support of Britain and France, shot down most of the Iranian drones and missiles that flew in its airspace towards Israel.


Source: Al Jazeera + agencies

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Netanyahu reversed an imminent strike on Iran following a phone call

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