Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is seeking cabinet support for a military strike on Iran,
Haaretz newspaper has reported after day of speculation on plans for such an attack.
The report, citing a senior Israeli official, said Mr Netanyahu was working with defense minister Ehud Barak, to win support from members of the cabinet who oppose attacking Iranian nuclear facilities.
While the talks are ongoing to rally such support, Israel test-fired a ballistic missile from a military base on Wednesday, Israel Radio said.
The report said the launch was carried out from the Palmachim facility. It quoted a Defence Ministry statement as saying the launch was aimed at testing the missile’s propulsion system. Israel has Jericho missiles widely believed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The reports of Mr Netanyahu pushing for a military strike on Iran came after days of renewed public discussion among Israeli commentators about the possibility that the Jewish state would take unilateral military action against Iran.
Haaretz said that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Barak had already scored a significant win by convincing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to throw his support behind a strike.
Meanwhile, in Iran media reports have quoted General Hassan Firouzabadi, head of the Armed forces that, the country is on high alert and if an Israeli strike is made Iran will retaliate with a “punishing offensive”. “We consider any threat, even those with low probability, as a definite threat and an act of war, he said, as quoted by Fars news agency.
Clearly the tensions in the Middle East region have reached a new high and this time between two regional players with significant influence. The question now is, is this more rhetoric and hype oozing between Tehran and Tel-Aviv or are we inching closer to a real showdown with a no point of return.