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As Israel Mulls Timing for Iran Attack, GOP Leaders Try to Break DC Logjam over Military Aid

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel's leadership has reportedly decided on a range of ways it may hit back at Iran. For now, though, the government has yet to choose a time.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exhorted a group of young military recruits Tuesday concerning what Israel will do about Iran. "Iran stands behind Hamas, behind Hezbollah, behind others, but we are determined to win there and defend ourselves in all arenas," the prime minister declared.

Analysts speculate Israel could hit Iranian nuclear facilities or facilities that made this past weekend's drone and missile attack possible. No matter the targets, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says Iran can't escape.

"The Air Force planes are operating everywhere, the skies of the Middle East are open.  Any enemy that will fight against us, we will know how to hit him wherever he is," Gallant asserted.

Iran's deputy foreign minister warned Israel will face a "resolute and hard response" in a matter of seconds after the slightest Israeli retaliation.

Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari countered, "Firing 110 ballistic missiles directly to Israel will not (go) Scot-free. We will respond in our time, in our place, in the way that we will choose."

The IDF displayed one of the ballistic missiles fired at Israel on Tuesday. “These ballistic missiles are ones that (have) 500 kilos of explosives in the warhead. We are talking about over 110 ballistic missiles coming from Iran aiming towards Israel. These are 60 tons of explosives directly to Israel."

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On the diplomatic front, the U.S. State Department keeps trying to talk Israel out of retaliating against the massive Iranian assault. Spokesman Matthew Miller stated, "It is an ongoing process of trying to keep tensions in the region, to reduce tensions in the region, and try to maintain as much calm as possible."

The Biden administration has announced it's ready to apply economic sanctions against Iran's missile and drone program.

However, critics point out that the administration has waived such sanctions in the past.

Representative Mike McCaul (R-Texas) told CBS News, "We lifted or waived the sanctions that we had – this administration – on the drones and the missiles and the energy; This has given them 100 billion dollars in cash to fund their terror operations and that's why we're seeing this."

Yet, Ari Sacher, a senior policy advisor for the U.S.-Israel Education Association (USIEA) contends most Israelis feel differently than the White House, that sanctions aren't enough.

"Israelis, I believe, think that we need to return fire. Iran cannot be let off with a tongue-lashing for what they did. They attacked a sovereign country with 60 tons of high explosives," Sacher explained.

He added, "They intended on doing damage. We verily managed to shoot down nearly all of it, but this could have been tremendously destructive.  And Iran cannot be shown that it can do as it pleases. There must be a price for impinging upon the security of a sovereign nation."

Sacher believes, as many in Israel do, that Divine intervention was at work during the attack.

"I have an axiomatic belief in the existence of a God, a God who pays attention and who cares especially about what goes on in Israel, and everything I see reinforces that belief. So when I see 99 percent of rockets that are fired at Israel of threats, missiles, cruise missiles are fired at Israel being shot down.  I wake up the next morning and I thank God for it."

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Mike Johnson is trying to pass an Israel military aid bill separate from aid for Ukraine. The White House has insisted that a $14 billion package for Israel be tied to a measure with more than $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, which has been unable to pass the GOP-controlled House.  

Jonathan Tobin, editor-in-chief for Jerusalem News Syndicate, wrote a column Wednesday noting, "In just the last two years, Congress has committed to sending Ukraine $113 billion. With the extra $60 billion Biden wants to add, Kyiv would have sums that would far exceed all of the U.S. aid ever given to Israel."

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