There are increasing calls internationally for Israel to react with restraint to Iran’s unprecedented attack. Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Israel to contribute to de-escalation. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned that retribution is not a category in international law.

French President Emmanuel Macron said they wanted to convince Israel that a response to the Iranian attack should not be further escalation. “We will do everything we can to prevent a conflagration, i.e. an escalation,” said the head of state on French television.

According to its own statements, the USA had previously urged Israel to carefully consider a possible retaliatory strike against Iran and its consequences.

War Cabinet deliberations awaited

Iran’s first direct attack on Israel over the weekend has brought the two arch-enemies to the brink of armed conflict. It is unclear how Israel will respond to the unprecedented air attack with drones, rockets and cruise missiles, which was largely repelled with the support of other states.

Another meeting of the Israeli War Cabinet was expected on Monday. The cabinet will meet for a second time within 24 hours on Monday afternoon, reported the news site ynet and the daily newspaper “Haaretz”.

The war cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had already met on Sunday. According to media reports, no decision was made on a possible reaction during three hours of deliberations. However, several options for a possible Israeli retaliation were discussed at the meeting. Within the Israeli government, very right-wing government politicians in particular are calling for quick and tough action. However, the hardliners are not represented in the war cabinet.

Cameron: Restraint would be a double defeat for Iran

“The best thing you can do in the case of Israel is to recognize that this has been a failure for Iran,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron told Times Radio. As an independent, sovereign country, Israel has every right to respond to such an attack. But Great Britain also wants to avoid escalation and advises “our friends in Israel that it is time to think with both our heads and our hearts.”

If Israel now holds back, it would be tantamount to a double defeat for Iran, said Cameron. “Not only was its attack an almost complete failure, but the rest of the world can now see the malign influence (Iran) has on the region and understand its true nature.”

Scholz: Success should not be given away

The Chancellor, who was in Shanghai on Monday, made similar comments. The largely successful defense against around 300 drones and missiles was “a success that perhaps shouldn’t be wasted,” said the SPD politician. “Hence our advice to contribute to de-escalation yourself.”

Scholz also again warned Iran. The first-ever attack on Israeli territory was a “bad escalation” that should not have happened, he said. “Iran cannot continue to treat this like this.”

USA: Carefully consider possible retaliation

On Sunday night, Iran directly attacked its declared arch-enemy Israel for the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic and portrayed the attack as retaliation for the killing of high-ranking officers in Syria. On April 1, two brigadier generals were killed in a suspected Israeli-led airstrike on the Iranian embassy compound in Syria’s capital Damascus.

US President Biden spoke to Netanyahu on the phone on Sunday night shortly after Iran’s attack began and made it “very clear” that we needed to “think carefully and strategically about the risks of escalation.” This was reported by a high-ranking US government official in Washington on Sunday. The USA, as Israel’s most important ally, had helped repel Iran’s major attack against Israel.