Middle East crisis: European allies urge Israel to show restraint after Iran’s air strike

Israel's war cabinet to decide on further course of action

Iran Israel tensiosn A battery of Israel's Iron Dome defense missile system, deployed to intercept rockets, sits in Ashkelon, southern Israe | AP

After the United States, European nations urged Israel to show restraint over Iran's latest air strike. European allies called on Israeli leaders to step away from "the edge of the cliff" amid the deepening Middle East crisis. 

Israel's war cabinet is to convene on Monday afternoon to deliberate on how to respond to Iran's missile and drone attack on its grounds. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, and Benny Gantz, former defence minister are part of the war cabinet. 

The statements from Gantz and Gallant, after the war cabinet meeting on Sunday, hinted that Israel's counter-strike on Iran was not immediately on the cards. However, Netanyahu is yet to announce the formal decision. 

US President Joe Biden spoke with Netanyahu over the phone on Sunday and urged Israel not to escalate the tensions with Iran. 

Biden also said that the US will not take part in Israel's counter-strike on Iran. White House spokesperson highlighted that the US was not looking for war. 

Reportedly, Biden told Netanyahu that given the fact the attack caused minimum damage, Israel should consider the incident as a "win" and not respond with another attack. 

Several world leaders also urged Israel to show restraint, rather than escalating the tensions. The EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said that the Middle East stood "on the edge of the cliff" and "we have to stop on the brakes and reverse gear". 

France also joined Western allies including Germany and UK in calling Israel to avoid escalation. 

"We will do everything to avoid a conflagration - that is to say an escalation. We need to be by Israel’s side to ensure its protection to the maximum, but also to call for a limit to avoid an escalation," President Emmanuel Macron told BFMTV news channel.

He also added that the focus should be on "isolating Iran, convincing countries in the region that Iran is a danger, increasing sanctions, reinforcing pressure over nuclear activities” in Iran. 


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