Israel ‘making decision to act’ after Iranian attack: Cameron

Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

JERUSALEM: Israel is “making the decision to act” in response to Saturday’s attack by Iran, the Foreign Secretary has said as he visits the country for talks with its leaders.

Lord Cameron travelled to Israel late on Tuesday to discuss Tel Aviv’s response to the drone and missile barrage, having previously urged Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu to show restraint.

Rishi Sunak delivered a similar message to Mr Netanyahu in a phone call on Tuesday, saying it was “time for calm heads to prevail”. However, speaking to broadcasters in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the Foreign Secretary said Israel appeared to be preparing to retaliate.

He said: “It is right to have made our views clear about what should happen next, but it is clear the Israelis are making the decision to act. “We hope they do so in a way that does as little to escalate this as possible and in a way that, as I said yesterday, is smart as well as tough.”

Downing Street echoed the Foreign Secretary’s comments, urging Israel to avoid “significant escalation”. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “Israel has successfully repelled the Iranian attack and Iran is even more isolated on the world stage.“We want to avoid significant further escalation and bloodshed which would only be deeply destabilising for the region and risk more loss of life.”

The Foreign Secretary has met senior Israeli figures, including Mr Netanyahu and Israeli president Isaac Herzog, and is expected to visit the West Bank and Palestinian Authority prime minister Mohammad Mustafa before heading to a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Italy.Lord Cameron said he hoped the G7 meeting would result in further “co-ordinated sanctions” against Iran, saying Tehran needed to be sent “a clear and unequivocal message”.