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IDF Chief Promises 'Consequences' for Iran: 'We Will Choose Our Response Accordingly'

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Tensions are high in the Middle East as players wait to see Israel's response to the massive Iranian attack over the weekend, successfully repulsed by a U.S.-led coalition.

Israel indicates that without a doubt, it will respond to the unprecedented drone and missile attack directly aimed at the Jewish state.

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, warned, “Iran will face the consequences for its actions. We will choose our response accordingly.”

The question is how and when. Reserve Brigadier-General Amir Avivi with the Israel Defense and Security Forum told CBN News Israel presented plans for striking back, even before the attack.

"These plans really can be from, you know, cyberattacks to destroying nuclear plants, to completely wiping out the oil production of Iran, sinking their Navy – so many possibilities."

Still, the White House continues to press Israel not to take retaliation too far.

"We don't want to see a war with Iran," said National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby. "We don't want to see a broader regional conflict. We will do what we have to do to defend Israel."

President Joe Biden stated, "We're committed to a ceasefire that will bring the hostages home and preventing conflict from spreading beyond what it already has."

Avivi maintains that though Israel can hit Iran in many ways, something bigger is at stake. "One of the considerations is that Israel, of course, would rather see a build-up of a coalition," he said.

This time, that coalition included Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Jordan helped the massive effort that destroyed 99 percent of the drones and missiles aimed at Israel, and Saudi Arabia acknowledged its part in the coalition, blaming Iran for instigating the October 7th massacre to derail the normalizing of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. has used the long-term threat Shi'ite Iran poses, not just to Israel, but to Sunni Muslim nations, to build a Middle East alliance between Israel and those largely Sunni Muslim countries, many of whom came out with guns blazing this weekend. 

President Biden declared, "We mounted an unprecedented military effort to defend Israel. Together with our partners, we defeated that attack."

Avivi pointed out the coalition countries understood they could be the next Iranian targets.

"When you are seeing ballistic missiles flying more than a thousand kilometers in 10 minutes towards Israel, they understand the next ballistic missiles can reach Europe. They will reach, also, the U.S.  And in a year or two, they can be nuclear," Avivi emphasized. 

He added, "So, we need to deal decisively with this threat from Iran and to really build a coalition that will be willing to pose a military threat and deal with these challenges."

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The successful defense of Israel reportedly cost around $1.5 billion.

As a result, CBN News White House Correspondent Abigail Robertson reports, that the White House has branded the low-impact Iran attack a "spectacular and embarrassing failure" for Iran. Biden is pushing Congress to swiftly pass more aid for Israel, and also for embattled Ukraine. 

Legislation has already cleared the U.S. Senate, but House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will work to separate funding for Ukraine from dollars designated for Israel, preferring to pass solo funding for Israel.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, there are signs that Israel is readying to go into Rafah, the last stronghold for Hamas battalions there.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in the U.S. blocked key roads to international airports in Chicago and Seattle and shut down traffic on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge as a show of support for Hamas.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and