UK says Israel has decided to respond to Iran attacks amid fears of escalation

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Wednesday that Israel has decided to respond to the attacks Iran launched against Israel over the weekend.

Cameron’s remarks come as the foreign secretary traveled to Israel on Wednesday, just days after Iran launched a missile and drone attack on the U.S. ally.

Cameron told reporters he traveled to Israel to reiterate the U.K.’s support for Israel and urge them to deescalate, after meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

“The situation is very concerning. It’s right to show solidarity with Israel. It’s right to have made our views clear about what should happen next,” Cameron said, according to the Foreign Ministry office.

“But 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,” he added.

It’s not clear yet how Israel will respond if it chooses to do so, but Netanyahu said Wednesday the country will decide on its own on how to respond.

“I thank our friends for their support in defense of Israel and I say this — support in both words and deeds. They also have all kinds of suggestions and advice, which I appreciate; however, I would also like to clarify — we will make our decisions ourselves. The State of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself,” Netanyahu said in remarks released by his office.

Axios reported Wednesday that Israel considered striking Iran on Monday, but it ultimately decided to wait, according to five Israeli and U.S. sources. One official said they were “not sure why and how close it was to an actual attack,” according to the report.

President Biden is seeking to avoid a wider war with Iran after the U.S. helped Israel thwart the missile and drone attack Saturday. John Kirby, national security communications adviser for the White House, emphasized over the weekend that the U.S. is not looking to escalate the ongoing tensions in the Middle East.

“I would say that the Prime Minister is well aware that the President is not looking for a conflict with Iran, that the President doesn’t want the tensions to escalate anymore, and that the President is doing everything and has since the seventh of October, to try to keep this from becoming a broader regional war,” Kirby said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

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