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Israel considers options after drone attack on ship blamed on Iran

The drone attack against an Israeli-managed oil tanker last week revealed Israel’s soft underbelly at sea, and forces its leadership to consider how to retaliate.
A picture taken on Aug. 3, 2021 shows the Israeli-linked Japanese-owned tanker MT Mercer Street, off the port of the Gulf Emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

Had Prime Minister Naftali Bennett been Israel’s defense minister or just a member of its Security Cabinet, he would have surely banged on the table and demanded direct action against Iran.

Before he became prime minister, Bennett (as mentioned here previously) likened Iran to an octopus deploying its tentacles in the region against Israel. Having branded himself as a high-tech version of then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett's use of the octopus example was an enhanced version of Netanyahu’s description of Iran’s use of regional proxies against Israel as “arming the cat’s paws.” As education minister, Bennett demanded that Israel strike the head of the octopus whenever it used one of its tentacles to attack Israel or to spread terrorism in the region. A year later, in 2019, he made the same argument as defense minister, saying in closed-door meetings that there was no point in hacking off the tentacles of the proxies that Iran sends to fight Israel. The Iranians, he said at the time, must understand that Israel will exact a price directly from them. Whenever anything blows up in Israel and Iran is responsible, something must explode within Iran, he reportedly said.

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