19.04.2024 Author: Abbas Hashemite

How would Israel Retaliate?

How would Israel Retaliate?

For the past few days, people and analysts around the world have been worried about the simmering tensions in the Middle East. Iran’s unprecedented attacks on Israel with more than 300 drones and missiles after the latter’s unprovoked attack on its consulate in Damascus, Syria have raised concerns for the peace and stability of not just the Middle East region but for the world. Israel thwarted 99 percent of the Iranian missiles with the assistance of its regional and allies, according to Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesperson. Although Iran, demonstrating intensive restraint, conducted a highly calibrated and calculated attack on Israel to signal its defense capabilities and to avoid further escalation of the conflict – as no civilian and military casualty has been reported by the Israeli or Western media due to these attacks, Israel is adamant to retaliate back to Iran.

The Israeli war cabinet conducted a meeting to assess the situation and formulate a strategy against the backdrop of Iranian attacks. Israel called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council soon after Iran’s retaliatory attack. The Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy was a sheer violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter. In the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Iran cited Article 51 of the UN Charter, which provides it the right of self-defense in response to the Israeli and Western allegations. Many Western countries, ignoring the Israeli war crimes in Gaza, and its violation of international laws and numerous UN resolutions – condemned Iran’s retaliatory attacks in the UN SC meeting. Although Iran’s attacks on Israel did not result in any considerable infrastructural or human loss, they proved detrimental for the West and Israel in several ways. For decades, Israel was perceived as an impenetrable power in the region. This image of the Western proxy in the Middle East has been shattered. Moreover, the defense and military capabilities of Israel and its regional and Western allies in the region have been exposed after these attacks.

Despite this irreversible loss, most of the Western countries, including the United States, are trying to refrain Israel from responding to Iran’s retaliatory attacks. Many Eastern Leaders, including Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping – and analysts around the world have been warning Israel and its Western allies that the fire of Israeli war crimes in Gaza can engulf more than just Palestine. However, the West had been continuously supporting Israel’s genocide in Gaza, while remaining oblivious to the gravity of the situation. Recent escalation between Iran and Israel has corroborated the suspicions of the Eastern leaders.

Hampering Israel from responding to Iran’s retaliatory attacks has become an excruciating challenge for the United States and the other pro-Israel powers. Israel’s war cabinet has confirmed that it will respond to Iran’s retaliation. This has increased the challenges for Israel’s allies, even at home. The US President Joe Biden was already under significant duress inside the country. A lawsuit has also been filed against him alleging that he is an accomplice in Israel’s war crimes. Even people in the Democrat party are criticizing his Israel policy. The recent escalation has further aggravated difficulties for Biden. Until now, he seems unsuccessful in convincing Israel to show restraint. Reports suggest that he has allegedly greenlighted Rafah’s operation in exchange for no response to Iran. The US has even imposed new sanctions on Iran to soothe Israel. But all the US efforts seem to be in vain. On the other hand, domestic pressure is mounting against Netanyahu to respond to Iran’s attacks. Netanyahu’s whole political career is built on spreading hatred and extremism against Muslims. There is a widespread belief in Israel that not responding to Iran will encourage it to repeatedly attack Israel. Furthermore, his inability to eliminate Hamas and get the Israeli hostages released has led to widespread condemnation domestically. Therefore, there is a strong probability that Israel will respond to Iran. Netanyahu has also stated that Israel will defend itself.

Israel’s attack on Iran will result in a widespread regional war in the Middle East. This will have global ramifications. After attacking Iran, Israel will have to face solemn security and sovereignty threats from Iran and its proxies, along with backlash from its own allies. So, the question is: how will Israel respond to Iran’s attacks? Israeli officials have not mentioned the details about the nature of their counterattack on Iran. Israel has multiple options to respond to Iran’s unprecedented attacks. Showing extreme restraint, Israel can launch a new offensive against the Iran-backed proxy groups in the Middle East. However, this will not serve Israel’s purpose to revive its regional standing. Conducting a cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear installations is another viable option, but this will not be deemed as a symmetric response by the Israeli people and the regional countries and further reveal the weakness of the Israeli military. Another option that Israel has is to assassinate Iranian generals and scientists using its spies as it has been doing in the past. But this will also not help Netanyahu regain his credibility as a strong leader.

The most dangerous and expected option that Israel will choose is to attack some remote areas in Iran to gain a face-saving, but this will result in Iran’s strong retaliation as vowed by its leadership. In a frightening statement, the Mossad Chief has also stated that striking Iran’s nuclear facilities is also on the table. Given the martial obsession of the Zionists, it is most likely that Israel would attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel’s establishment would intend to cripple Iran of its military capabilities through this move. However, any of the last two options will have ramifications beyond Netanyahu’s comprehension. IRGC’s Brigadier General Ahmed Haghtalab has already warned, responding to Israel’s threats of attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, that IRGC has identified the locations of Israel’s nuclear facilities and would attack them if Israel did so. He further added that Iran would pursue nuclear weapons amid growing threats from Israel. The chances of Israel’s restraint from counterattacking are grim due to the country’s warmongering leadership. The probability of a full-scale war between Iran and Israel looms large. The war would engulf many regional and extra-regional countries. Global efforts should be expedited to avoid the imminent catastrophe in the Middle East. Otherwise, the globe will have to bear severe consequences.


Abbas Hashemite – is a political observer and research analyst for regional and global geopolitical issues. He is currently working as an independent researcher and journalist, exclusively for “New Eastern Outlook”.

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