Officials Seek to Downplay Likelihood of Iranian ‘Revenge’ Attack

A view of Kiryat Shemona. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Officials in northern Israel reassured residents Sunday night, after purported details of Iran’s planned revenge strike against Israel were revealed in media reports. In a statement, the Upper Galilee Regional Council and Kiryat Shemona Municipality said that “regarding the possibility of an Iranian attack against northern Israel, we wish to point out that we are in constant contact with IDF officials. So far we have not received any new security instructions. We urge everyone to continue on with their daily routine.”

Although Israeli security officials said that Iran could attempt to strike Israeli military targets via missile strikes from Lebanon or Syria, several sources downplayed that likelihood, saying that although Tehran might desire to carry out such an attack, it was limited in its options.

Iran has pledged to “avenge” the deaths of its agents that were killed in air raids on Syrian bases in recent weeks, although Israel has not taken responsibility for those attacks.

The fact of the revelation of the plan itself, security sources said, was another barrier to an Iranian attack, at least in the near-term. “This is the second major intelligence failure for Iran in a week, after the revelations on their nuclear program by Prime Minister Netanyahu last week,” a security source told Channel 20. “Now that it is out, the question is how will Iran carry out this attack? Neither Lebanon nor Syria will want to take the risk of a major IDF retaliation, and Iran isn’t likely to risk an attack from its territory.”

In addition, the fact that Netanyahu will be in Russia conferring with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this week is another likely reason for Iran not to hit Israel.

The best Iran can hope for at this time, the source said, was a major terror attack, either in Israel or against an Israel-affiliated or Jewish target elsewhere. The usual cautiousness and care, as well as extra of both, were important now, for Israelis at home and abroad. With that, the IDF is ready for the worst-case scenario of a major attack by Iran, and is prepared with a list of targets to be hit in Syria, Lebanon, Iran, or any combination of the three.

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