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Israel Will Do Everything Necessary To Defend Itself: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked the visiting foreign ministers of Germany and Britain for their countries’ support but said Israel would reach its own decisions on its security.

“I want to make it clear—we will make our own decisions, and the State of Israel will do everything necessary to defend itself,” he told his cabinet ministers in Jerusalem.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met Netanyahu days after an unprecedented Iranian missile and drone attack on Israel, launched in response to an April 1 strike on Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus.

World powers are striving to prevent a wider outbreak of conflict in the Middle East after Iran’s attacks on Saturday night, which involved hundreds of missiles and drones, the first time Iran has directly attacked Israel after decades of confrontation by proxies.

Earlier on Wednesday, Cameron said that Israel has clearly decided to retaliate against Iran, in the starkest warning yet of another volley coming in regional escalation.

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“It’s clear the Israelis are making a decision to act. We hope they do so in a way that does as little to escalate this as possible,” Cameron told reporters.

Washington and other Western governments hope new economic sanctions against Iran will help persuade Israel to limit the scope of its retaliation. Cameron said Britain wanted to see coordinated sanctions against Iran by the Group of Seven big democracies, which are meeting this week in Italy.

“They need to be given a clear unequivocal message by the G7,” he said.

Washington is planning to impose new sanctions targeting Iran’s missile and drone programme in the coming days and expects its allies will be following suit, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Tuesday.

Earlier, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States would use sanctions, and work with allies, to keep disrupting Iran’s “malign and destabilising activity”.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, speaking in Brussels after an emergency video conference of EU foreign ministers, said some member states had asked for sanctions against Iran to be expanded.

Borrell said the proposal would expand a sanctions regime that seeks to curb the supply of Iranian drones to Russia so that it would also include the provision of missiles and could also cover deliveries to Iranian proxies in West Asia.

With inputs from Reuters