Israel Weighs Response To Iranian Drone Attack

Israel is considering its options after an unprecedented attack by the Iranian military on Israeli territory. However, Israel has walked back threats of an imminent retaliation, and officials have assured the U.S. government that Israel is “not looking for a significant escalation.”

Iran sent some 170 armed drones, 120 ballistic missiles and 30 cruise missiles flying over Jordanian airspace toward Israeli targets Saturday, carrying a combined 60-ton payload of explosive material into Israel. The attack violated both Iraqi and Jordanian airspace. Jordan helped Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom shoot down the Iranian drones and missiles.

According to an Israeli official, the defensive response to the drone attack managed to shoot down 99% of the Iranian munitions before they were able to reach their targets.

The assault did cause some minor damage to the Nevatim air base in southern Israel. It also injured a seven-year-old girl from a Bedouin town in the south, who needed intensive care for severe injuries from shrapnel.

Yeshiva World News’ Moshe Schwartz explained in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that an “immediate response with strikes within Iran was approved by a clear majority of the Israeli war cabinet,” but it was “called off at the last minute” after a phone call between President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The war cabinet still supports the planned response – but not necessarily immediately,” he added.

Since then, the talk of retaliation has cooled, with Israel appearing eager to avoid a significant escalation in hostilities with Iran. One senior U.S. administration official said that Israel “has made it clear to us it is not looking for a significant escalation with Iran.”

“We don’t want to see this escalate,” U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. He added that “we’re not looking for a wider war with Iran.”

Iran told the U.S. that if it helps Israel to strike back for the drone assault on Saturday, the Iranian military will regard U.S. military bases in the Middle East as legitimate targets. Biden told Israel’s prime minister that the U.S. will not support an Israeli counterattack.