However, the pessimistic assessment has changed recently, as has Israel's response to negotiations with Iran. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was the first to hint at a change when he admitted on Jan. 3 that according to Israeli assessments, the involved world powers are heading for a return to the nuclear deal, or at least an interim agreement that would lead toward that goal.
Israel's new strategy is to maintain restraint and avoid criticism of the United States and the other powers while keeping up the pressure on them through back channels and establishing red lines for Iran.
At the same time, the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Air Force are continuing preparations for the military option, having been allocated billions of shekels to complete its readiness within a year to 18 months.
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