The New Yorker:

After Iran’s dramatic but largely ineffective attack, Benjamin Netanyahu’s response will have tremendous consequences.

By Dexter Filkins

Mired in a brutal war in Gaza and beset by international condemnation, Israel had a single day of undisputed victory this weekend. After Iran launched more than three hundred missiles and drones at Israeli territory on Saturday night, the Israel Defense Forces shot down nearly every one. The country’s myriad political and security dilemmas, arguably greater than any others it has faced in its seventy-six-year history, could be briefly set aside. “Take the win,’’ President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him not to ignite a regional war by striking back. It is unclear the extent to which Netanyahu will heed the advice.

Tehran had ordered the attack in response to Israel’s dramatic assassination of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, earlier this month, in Damascus. The barrage may have caused little damage, but it was unprecedented: after years of clandestine struggle, it was Iran’s first direct attack on Israeli territory, and any projectiles that evaded air defenses could have caused tremendous casualties. The Iranians evidently hoped to strike military facilities, including an air base in Nevatim, but missiles were also intercepted over Jerusalem and other civilian areas. Yet Israel’s air-defense systems—known as Iron Dome and Arrow 3—limited the serious casualties to only one, a young Bedouin girl.

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