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The British Foreign Secretary said Israel would respond to Iran’s attack over the weekend.


For days, Israel’s closest Western allies have been pleading with the country’s wartime government not to react too strongly to Iran’s missile and drone attacks over the weekend, lest it spark a wider war. Top diplomats from Germany and Britain delivered the message personally to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

But Netanyahu said during the talks that his country would not bow to any external pressure in choosing its response. He announced at a cabinet meeting that Israel would “take all necessary measures to defend itself” and warned allies “we will make our own decisions,” according to his office.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron admitted before meeting the prime minister that Israel was unlikely to heed pleas to turn the other cheek.

“It is clear that the Israelis are deciding to take action,” Mr Cameron told the BBC. “We want them to do it in a way that doesn’t escalate the situation as much as possible.”

The United States, Britain and Germany have been urging Israel to avoid actions that could escalate tensions with Iran, which launched about 300 missiles and drones on Saturday night in what is believed to be its first direct attack on Israel. Most missiles and drones are shot down before reaching their targets — thanks in part to aid from the United States, Britain, France and Jordan — and those that are successfully shot down cause minimal damage.

In a speech before a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu thanked his Israeli allies for their “support in words and actions,” according to his office. But he added: “They also have all kinds of suggestions and advice. I appreciate that, but I want to be clear – we will make our own decisions.”

Iran has warned it would respond forcefully to any Israeli aggression, with army chief Maj. Gen. Abdulrahim Mousavi saying on Wednesday: “We will respond with more lethal weapons.”

Israel’s war cabinet has held multiple meetings since the weekend but has yet to make a clear decision on when and how to counter the attacks.It is said that the official Consider a range of optionsFrom direct strikes against Iran to cyberattacks or targeted assassinations, attempts are made to send a clear message to Iran without triggering a major escalation.

“Israel will respond as it sees fit,” an Israeli official said on Wednesday, adding that it had “many ways” to do so. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Cameron said the Group of Seven countries, including the United States, Britain and Germany, should work together to impose sanctions on Iran.U.S. and European officials separately said on Tuesday they were considering impose additional sanctions Tehran may target its oil revenue and weapons programs.

Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock said Iran’s actions “have brought the entire region to the edge of the abyss.”

“The goal now is to prevent further escalation in Iran,” she said in a statement. postal Tuesday on social media. “Iran’s plans to incite further violence must not succeed.”

Both ministers said their trip was also to press for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and to call attention to the continued detention of hostages there. Iran’s attack shifted international focus away from the six-month conflict.

Adam Rasgon Contributed reporting.

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