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Israel war cabinet determined to respond to Iran attack but timing and scope remain unclear

Biden warned that the U.S. would not assist Israel in any counter-offensive.

Published: April 15, 2024 9:41am

Updated: April 15, 2024 9:42am

Israel's war cabinet remains determined to respond to Iran's major drone and missile attack over the weekend, but as the cabinet meets again Monday, the timing and scope of any reaction remains unclear.

The war cabinet, formed days after Hamas' Oct. 7, 2023, attack, convened Monday for at least the third day in a row after Iran targeted Israel on Saturday with hundreds of missiles and drones, most of which were shot down by militaries from multiple countries.

U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that America will not join any counter-offensive against Iran amid concerns that it could spark a larger war as the Islamic Republic is threatening to launch more attacks if Israel responds.

Biden's concerns about a larger war may have already materialized in the minds of some, such as Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who said Sunday that Iran's attack constituted a "declaration of war."

Iran launched the attack after blaming Israel for airstrikes in Syria earlier this month that resulted in the death of a top-ranking Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps official.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, a key war cabinet member, said Sunday that Israel needs to "build a regional coalition and exact a price from Iran, in a way and at a time that suits us," according to CNN.

While Biden is urging Israel to exercise restraint when dealing with Iran, Israel Defense Forces spokesman R. Adm. Daniel Hagari on Sunday said, "Over the last few hours we approved operational plans for both offensive and defensive action," according to The Guardian.

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