US Lobbies Israel to Not Retaliate in Kind

Rattled Israelis buy food and water after a sleepless night
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2024 5:00 PM CDT
US Urges Israel to Avoid Escalation
A vendor organizes a box of vegetables at his shop in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

The Biden administration is trying to convince Israel that its defense against Iran's airstrike Saturday was so successful that there's no need to launch strikes of its own, or at least no need to escalate. Air defense systems stopped nearly all of the nearly 300 drones and missiles. One issue may be that although little damage was caused, the attack still was well beyond the usual low-level exchange of fire in recent years between Israel and Iran, the New York Times reports. Israel's war cabinet was meeting Sunday, per the Times, but had not revealed any final decision. Other developments involved:

  • US aid: Speaker Mike Johnson said the House will take up aid to Israel this week, per Politico. He was not specific, saying on Fox News that he's "looking at the options on all these supplemental issues." Johnson was asked about the package for Ukraine but declined to say when it would be considered or whether it would be tied to the assistance for Israel.
  • Biden-Netanyahu: President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone, per the AP, reiterating US support for Israel's defense. The president told him "that Israel really came out far ahead in this exchange," a US official said.
  • The mood in Israel: Streets were quiet Sunday after what for many people was a sleepless night punctuated by air raid sirens, per the Washington Post. "It was terrifying. Terrifying," said Mari James, 27, in Jerusalem. Like many buying food and water, she was stocking up at a store. "I think I'm doing this to soothe myself. I don't know what else to do." A man in East Jerusalem said, "You cannot watch the sky appear on fire and not be afraid." The Post article can be found here.
(More Israel stories.)

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