Israel war cabinet meets again; top general warns Iran 'will be met with a response'

Tehran is 'willing to exercise restraint and has no intention of further escalation'

TOPSHOT-ISRAEL-IRAN-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) during a War Cabinet meeting at the Kirya in Tel Aviv | AFP

As Israel holds a second war cabinet meeting to discuss its response to  Iran's drone and missile attacks, the top Israeli general has warned that Iran's actions "will be met with a response."

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi made the statement on Monday while visiting the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel, where four Iranian ballistic missiles struck during the attack early Sunday. "This launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles, and drones into Israeli territory will be met with a response," he said, without providing much details.

"Iran wanted to harm the strategic capabilities of the State of Israel — that is something that had not happened before. We were prepared for the 'Iron Shield' operation — preparation that brought Iran to also encounter aerial superiority," he said, adding that Israel is very strong and knows how to deal with it alone. He also reiterated the US support for the country.

In a separate video, Halevi said a coalition was activated to counter this attack, marking the start of the IDF’s 'Operation: Iron Shield'. "We are closely assessing the situation. We remain at our highest level of readiness. Iran will face the consequences of its actions. We will choose our response accordingly. The IDF remains ready to counter any threat from Iran and its terror proxies, as we continue our mission to defend the State of Israel," he added.

Halevi's statement came hours after Netanyahu summoned his war cabinet for the second time in less than 24 hours to weigh a response to Iran's weekend missile and drone attack.

Iran claims the attack was in retaliation to an Israeli airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus.

Meanwhile, in a phone call between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the latter is said to have made it clear that Tehran is "aware of the regional tensions, is willing to exercise restraint and has no intention of further escalations."

According to a report that appeared in the official Xinhua news agency, Wang reiterated Iran’s assertion that its launch of some 350 missiles and drones at Israel early Sunday was a "limited" action taken in self-defence. Wang also condemned the Israeli attack while thanking Iran for not targeting regional and neighbouring countries as it bombarded Israel.


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