Monday Briefing

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Missile debris that was recovered outside Arad, Israel, on Sunday.Credit…Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Israel considered its options after Iran’s attack

Israel showed signs that it would not immediately retaliate for the hundreds of exploding drones and missiles that Iran fired at it over the weekend, nearly all of which Israel and its allies intercepted.

Israel’s war cabinet met yesterday without deciding when or how to respond to the assault. But officials said they would relax restrictions on large gatherings and educational activities, a possible indication that they did not expect an immediate escalation.

Iran’s attack, in retaliation for an Israeli strike that killed seven Iranian military commanders in Syria, represented a moment of great risk, because it was the first time it had directly struck Israel in the two nations’ long shadow war. But it caused little damage, largely because Iran had telegraphed its intentions well in advance.

“The matter can be deemed concluded,” Iran’s mission to the U.N. said in a statement yesterday. “However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe.”

International response: President Biden reached out to Israel to discourage further escalation, fearing a wider war in the Middle East; Group of 7 leaders condemned Iran’s attack, but also urged restraint.

In Gaza, three people said Israeli troops fired at a crowd of people trying to return to their homes in the enclave’s north. The Palestinian Authority’s news agency said five people were killed, but the circumstances of the deaths could not be confirmed independently, and the Israeli military did not immediately respond to questions about the incident.

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