The recent retaliatory attack on Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel by Iranian ballistic missiles triggered a convening of the war cabinet to discuss the appropriate course of action. Despite calls for a forceful response within Israeli political circles, the prevailing sentiment is urging caution to prevent the situation from spiralling into a broader conflict.

Reports indicate that Israel’s retaliatory move could be imminent, with discussions centred on delivering a clear and forceful message to Tehran. The objective is twofold: to claim Israel’s unwillingness to tolerate attacks on its sovereignty and to disrupt Iran’s attempts to establish a retaliatory equation against Israel.

Israeli strategists are contemplating a response that focuses on striking key targets outside of Iran’s borders. This tactic aims to minimise the risk of escalation while still sending a clear message of deterrence. The decision is partly influenced by the limited damage inflicted by Iran’s retaliatory attack, leading Israel to seek a proportional rather than aggressive retaliation.

One potential avenue for Israeli action is targeting Iran’s “proxies”, such as armed groups in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah’s launch of two attack drones towards northern Israel resulted in minor injuries and heightened tensions in the region. In response, the Israeli forces killed a top Hezbollah commander.

The slain commander, Ismail Yousef Baz, held a pivotal position within Hezbollah’s military hierarchy, overseeing operations in the coastal region.

Iran cautioned Israel against any further attacks, threatening a “painful response” to even the slightest provocation.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has urged Israeli security forces to immediately cease supporting settler attacks on Palestinian civilians. The call comes in the wake of a statement issued by the UN human rights office following the brutal killing of two Palestinian men by radical Israeli settler groups who are protected by Israeli army. The violent attack was carried in a northern village south of Nablus, where Jewish terrorists invaded homes, assaulted families, and set fire to both homes and vehicles.

Tensions have been on the rise since extremist settlers backed by Israeli army, entered Palestinian villages on the pretext of searching for a jewish teenager over the weekend. Since Friday, Israeli forces or armed settlers have killed eight Palestinians. The video evidence suggested that Israeli security forces have been present during the settler terror attacks, occasionally standing by without intervention.

Aqraba Mayor Salah Bani Jaber was a witness to Monday’s violent settler attack, where approximately 50 armed settlers targeted members of the Aqraba community, firing at Palestinians and killing two and injuring several other. Bani Jaber said that Israeli soldiers present at the scene remained passive, merely observing the violence unfold.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society has reported that Israeli soldiers obstructed ambulances from reaching the area and providing medical assistance to the wounded.

Terror attacks on Palestinian towns in the West Bank by extremist settler groups have seen a sharp increase since 7 October.

Since the start of its military onslaught on Gaza, Isreal has killed at least 33,843 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded 76,575 others.