Israel's war cabinet meets for third day over Iran attack

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Israel's war cabinet is set to meet for a third day late Tuesday to respond to Iran's weekend attack, as international pressure mounts on the Jewish state to show restraint and avoid igniting an all-out Middle East conflict.

A five-person war cabinet has already discussed possible responses, including military and diplomatic options, an Israeli government official said.

However, the person said Israel was determined to respond to what it saw as an unprecedented Iranian attack, in which more than 300 missiles and drones were launched from Iranian territory into the Jewish state on Saturday night.

„The aim is to send a painful message to Iran. This cannot be some cosmetic product,” the person said, adding that to be effective, an Iranian attack would have to be responded to „closely”.

Israel's army chief, Herzey Halevi, hinted that there would be Israeli retaliation on Monday night. “We are looking forward and weighing [next] Steps, and the launching of multiple missiles, cruise missiles and UAVs into the territory of the State of Israel will be met with a response,” he said.

The United States and European allies have stepped up efforts to prevent Israel from attacking Iran.

Iran's attack, the first directly launched from its territory against Israel, was in response to a suspected Israeli attack on its consulate in Damascus earlier this month that killed several senior Iranian commanders.

According to the Israeli military, Israel and the US-led international coalition intercepted „99 percent” of the missiles fired by Iran, causing minimal damage to an air base in the country's south but seriously injuring a teenage girl.

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Israel's Western allies have urged the country to respond in a measured way.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak both said on Monday that the West was preparing for sanctions against Tehran following Saturday's attack.

The US and the UK have made it clear that they will not participate in any retaliatory strikes.

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