In a deeply divided Israel, even the dramatic scene above the country’s skies on Sunday is open to political interpretation.

For supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s display of defensive technology against an Iranian salvo that included hundreds of drones and missiles proves Mr. Netanyahu has long been right to warn about the threat posed by Iran.

His opponents are loath to give him any credit, reserving their praise for the air force.

“Like everything in Israel in recent years, the story is split into two narratives,” said Mazal Mualem, an Israeli political commentator for Al-Monitor, a Middle East news site, and the author of a recent biography of the Israeli leader.

“The division and polarization in Israeli society prevents people from seeing the full picture,” Ms. Mualem added.

Iran’s barrage on Sunday, launched in response to an Israeli attack on an Iranian Embassy building this month in Damascus that killed several high-ranking commanders in Iran’s armed forces, came at a perilous time for Mr. Netanyahu.

At home, he is an unpopular leader whom many hold responsible for his government’s policy and intelligence failures that led to the deadly Hamas-led attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7, which prompted Israel to go to war in Gaza. Abroad, he is the focus of international censure over Israel’s prosecution of that war, which has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Gazans.


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