Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets with Israel's expanded War Cabinet in Tel Aviv on Dec. 18, 2023

Israel’s War Cabinet ended its hours-long meeting on Sunday evening without reaching a decision on how to respond to the massive Iranian attack aimed at Israel hours earlier.

The cabinet is determined to respond but has yet to decide on the timing and scope, according to an Israeli official who told CNN earlier in the day the IDF was tasked with formulating additional options for a response.


The cabinet is likely to reconvene this week to reach a decision on Israel’s next steps, a source told

“In the last few hours we held assessments and approved plans for defense and attack,” IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters at a briefing during the day.

Iran fired a combined amount of 60 tons’ worth of explosives in its attack on Israel in the early morning hours on Sunday.

Hagari said more than 300 suicide drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles were fired at Israel; 99 percent were intercepted in a stunning display of military coordination and unity by the Israel Air Force, US Air Force, UK’s Royal Air Force, Jordanian Royal Air Force, and the French Air Force.

Thanks to Coalition, Reminder to Egypt: Iran is the Problem, Not Israel
Foreign Minister Israel Katz had a busy day as well on Sunday, thanking the heads of state whose military forces helped keep Israel safe from Iran overnight.

Katz spoke with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné to thank them “for their steadfast support and true friendship in times of need.”

Nevertheless, Katz emphasized that “Israel, like any other country, is committed to defend its citizens,” added that it’s “your time to weaken the Iranian regime to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist organization, and to impose crippling sanctions on the Iranian missile project. Iran must pay a price.”

Katz also spoke with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, emphasizing Israel’s right to self defense against Iran’s unprecedented aggression.

“I stressed that Iran and its proxies are the central threat to stability in the Middle East. The moderate countries in the region, along with the rest of the world, must act to stop Iran’s aggression. The relationship with Egypt is important, and we will continue to work together to maintain stability and security in the region,” Katz added.

Earlier in the day, Israel’s Foreign Ministry pointed out in a lengthy statement that the Jewish State has the right to defend itself “just like any other country,” warning that Israel will continue to do that in the future as well.

“Iran must pay a price for its aggression,” the ministry said.

“The initial price must be the immediate recognition of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps – which launched the extensive terrorist attack last night – as a terrorist organization.

“Following the ballistic missile, cruise missile and drone attack launched by Iran, painful sanctions must be imposed on Iran, including but not limited to the field of missiles.

“Just like any other country, Israel has the right to defend itself in the face of Iran’s massive attack. Israel successfully defended itself against Iran’s aggression and will continue to do so in the future,” the statement concluded.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.