Israel weighs response to Iran attack, with each choice a risk

Demonstrators show their support for Iran's attack on Israel in Palestine Square in Tehran, Iran, Monday, April 15, 2024. Israel's war cabinet on Monday met to weigh possible responses to Iran's missile and drone attack over the weekend, as the United States, Britain and other allies strongly urged Israel to show restraint and sought to de-escalate tensions between the two regional powers. [Arash Khamooshi/The New York Times]

Israeli leaders on Tuesday were debating how best to respond to Iran's unprecedented weekend airstrike, officials said, weighing a set of options calibrated to achieve different strategic outcomes: deterring a similar attack in the future, placating their American allies and avoiding all-out war.

Iran's attack on Israel, an immense barrage that included hundreds of ballistic missiles and exploding drones, changed the unspoken rules in the archrivals' long-running shadow war. In that conflict, major airstrikes from one country's territory directly against the other had been avoided.

As Israel's war Cabinet met to consider a military response, other countries were applying diplomatic pressure to both Israel and Iran in the hopes of de-escalating the conflict.

Almost all of the missiles and drones fired in Iran's attack early Sunday were intercepted by Israel and...

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