Israel Delays War Cabinet Meeting Amid Calls for Restraint After Iran Attack

Israel postpones war cabinet meeting after Iran's retaliatory missile strike, as US and allies push for new sanctions to deter escalation in the region.

Muthana Al-Najjar
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Israel Delays War Cabinet Meeting Amid Calls for Restraint After Iran Attack

Israel Delays War Cabinet Meeting Amid Calls for Restraint After Iran Attack

Israel has postponed a scheduled meeting of its war cabinet to discuss Iran's unparalleled retaliatory strike on Israeli territory over the weekend. The attack, which involved the launch of over 300 missiles, cruise missiles, and drones, was largely intercepted by Israel's air defenses, resulting in no deaths and minimal damage.

The postponement comes as regional leaders and allies of Israel call for restraint in the wake of the attack. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to avoid escalating the conflict, stating that further escalation in the Middle East is in no one's interest. The United States, Israel's main protector, has also indicated it would not participate in any counter-strike against Iran.

Instead, the U.S. and European allies are working to impose new economic and political sanctions on Iran to dissuade Israel from a major escalation. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced that the Biden administration will use sanctions to continue disrupting the Iranian regime's malign and destabilizing activity. The EU is also considering expanding sanctions on Iran to cover the provision of missiles and deliveries to Iranian proxies in the region.

Why this matters: The attack by Iran marks a significant shift in the long-running shadow war between the two archrivals, where major airstrikes from one country's territory directly against the other had previously been avoided. The international community's response and Israel's ultimate decision on retaliation could have far-reaching implications for stability in the Middle East.

While Israel weighs its options, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen. The UN has warned of severe violations of international law and the mass displacement of Palestinians. At least 13 people, including 7 children, were killed in an Israeli strike that targeted the Al Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is traveling to Israel in an attempt to de-escalate the Israel-Iran conflict and address the situation in Gaza.

Israel's war cabinet is expected to make its next move in the coming days, likely trying to lock in sanctions against Iran and carry out a strike before negative headlines from Gaza impact international goodwill. As a senior Israeli official stated, "Iran would not get off scot-free with this aggression." However, all options under consideration carry drawbacks, and the prospect of Israeli retaliation has alarmed many Iranians already facing economic hardship and tighter social and political controls.

Key Takeaways

  • Israel postponed war cabinet meeting to discuss Iran's missile attack.
  • Allies urge restraint, US and EU plan new sanctions to deter Israel.
  • Attack marks shift in Israel-Iran shadow war, with global implications.
  • Humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens, German FM visits to de-escalate.
  • Israel weighs retaliation options, but all carry drawbacks and risks.