Iranian Attack on Israel | Initial Insights from a Middle East Expert | April 14, 2024

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Iranian Attack on Israel | Initial Insights from a Middle East Expert | By Avi Melamed – April 14, 2024


In Western discourse, the Iranian attack on Israel has often been portrayed as” vengeance.” This is a mistake. It’s not about vengeance but a calculated Iranian step aimed at preserving and restoring Iranian deterrence, which is a cornerstone of Iran’s plan to dominate the region.

Several facts support my observation.

The fact that Israel and the United States were given time to prepare for the attack; the fact that while Iran’s proxies in Iraq and Yemen took some part in the attack, the two main players in Iran’s service – the Assad regime in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon – remained on the sidelines, speaks volumes. The Syrian arena remained totally quiet during the attack, and Hezbollah in Lebanon adhered to its pattern of attacks on northern Israel and the Golan Heights, careful not to escalate the situation.

The understanding that the Iranian attack is not “vengeance” is crucial because this insight may ultimately lead Western powers to acknowledge and internalize Iran’s aspiration to dominate the Middle East at any cost.

Failure to curb Iran’s ambitions will only embolden the Iranian regime to pursue its agenda further, causing more death and immense destruction across the region.

The highly successful interception of the Iranian attack provides several achievements for Israel and the United States.

Firstly, it grants Israel and the United States a wide maneuvering space for their next steps. When it comes to the possible Israeli response, the key lies in the stance of the United States, which is quite clear that it does not support a harsh Israeli response.

In Israel’s eye, taking into considering various considerations, especially regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza, it may be also Israel’s interest to avoid a harsh move against Iran.

Therefore, I do not anticipate an Israeli response in the style of fireworks.

However, Israel has the capabilities to hurt the Iranian regime in a way that sends a clear message throughout the Middle East without triggering an escalating confrontation with Iran that neither Israel nor the United States desire. Those guiding lines may indicate the nature of a possible Israeli response.

Another achievement of the highly successful interception of the Iranian attack is the consolidation of the Israeli-Arab-American alliance against the Iranian threat.

Another important achievement is the restoration of the United States’ position as a leading force in the Middle East, rebuilding its credibility in the eyes of its allies who were severely affected by a wavering American policy in the face of the ongoing Iranian military aggression.

For now, the successful interception of the Iranian attack is a significant tactical achievement with positive strategic potential.

The litmus test for realizing this potential is.

First and foremost. Successfully blunting Iran’s plan to dominate the Middle East. A key factor in achieving this goal is the decisive restriction of Iranian regime proxies – essentially severing the Iranian tentacles.

And this leads us to the conflict in Gaza. The successful interception of the Iranian attack should prompt a reemphasizing of the goals pursued by the United States and Israel and by major Arab states threatened by Iran. The shared goal should be to render Gaza no longer the exclusive playground of Hamas. Achieving this goal requires an uncompromising deepening of two lines of action to significantly reduce Hamas’s ability to set its extremist agenda and that of Iran. One line of action is the continued targeting of Hamas’s military infrastructure, and the other is increasing the active involvement of key Arab states – heavily threatened by Iran and its proxies – in creating new conditions in Gaza that ensure it no longer remains Hamas’s exclusive playground.

If Gaza remains Hamas’s exclusive playground, it will translate in the Middle Eastern lexicon into the perception that the Iranian attack was an Iranian victory – and a setback for the alliance confronting the Iranian threat. Such a perception will fuel Iranian aggressiveness, ultimately leading to an unavoidable regional war. The responsibility lies with Western powers to ensure that this scenario does not materialize. The key lies in the aggressive blunting and uncompromising dismantling of the Iranian regime’s hegemonic plan.

The attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7 was a significant wake-up call for the world. Unfortunately, albeit unsurprisingly, the world quickly forgot October 7. The Iranian attack on Israel is another loud wake-up call to the world. The next wake-up call might be too late.


Avi Melamed is a former Israeli intelligence official who went on to serve as deputy and then as senior Arab affairs adviser to Jerusalem Mayors Teddy Kollek and Ehud Olmert, operating as a negotiator during the first and second intifadas.

He is the author of “Inside The Middle East | Entering A New Era,” and his latest docuseries, “The Seam Line,” available on the Izzy streaming platform, focuses on Jerusalem’s flashpoints and his work during the intifadas.


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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamedhttps://insidethemiddle-east.com
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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