Israel ambassador to US says Israel 'will respond' to Iran strikes

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The Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. said Wednesday that Israel must respond to Iranian strikes on the country, brushing off warnings from American leaders and other allies fearful of a regional war between the two powers.

Iran launched over 300 munitions toward Israel on Saturday evening in response to an Israeli strike that killed Iranian military leaders early this month. Nearly all the munitions were intercepted by American, Jordanian and Israeli defenses before reaching their targets, and the country suffered minimal damages and no fatalities from the strikes.

“This cannot just pass. It cannot go unanswered,” Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog said in a Fox News interview with Bret Baier on Wednesday. “Because if you don’t answer, the Iranians will feel impunity, and they will feel that you can strike anywhere in the Middle East or elsewhere, without any consequences.”

“We have to respond, and we will respond. How exactly we do it remains to be seen. I don’t want to discuss any details,” he continued.

Herzog doubled down on calls for retaliation and also urged the country’s allies to pass more strict sanctions against Iran.

“In our part of the world, defense is not enough to create deterrence. We need to push back,” he said. “And the main message, the main lesson from what happened the other day when Iran attacked us, is that all of us have to enhance the deterrents vis-a-vie Iran.”

“If we do not push back against Iran, in a matter of few years, you may see nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles,” he added.

Israel’s allies, including the Biden administration and the British and German governments, warned the country against a response to the Iran strikes, fearful of a regional war in the Middle East. The Iranian government committed to a large conflict if Israel were to retaliate.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off those concerns earlier Wednesday.

“I want to be clear: we will make our decisions ourselves. The state of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself,” he said.

In an interview earlier Wednesday, British Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister David Cameron placed his support behind Israel, but urged for calm.

“The situation is very concerning. It’s right to show solidarity with Israel. It’s right to have made our views clear about what should happen next,” Cameron said during a visit to Israel, according to the Foreign Ministry office.

“But it’s clear the Israelis are making a decision to act. We hope they do so in a way that does as little to escalate this as possible,” he added.

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