Israel Says It Will Respond To Iran Attack As World Leaders Urge Restraint

Israel Says It Will Respond To Iran Attack As World Leaders Urge Restraint

Israel’s military chief said Monday that the country will respond after Iran launched an attack involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. World leaders are urging Israel not to retaliate.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says “all sides must show restraint” to avoid a rising spiral of violence in the Middle East. French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris will try to “convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating.”

The Iranian attack on Saturday marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The attack happened less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building.

An Israeli military spokesman said that 99% of the drones and missiles launched by Iran were intercepted.

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s six-month war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The war erupted after Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two militant groups backed by Iran, carried out a devastating cross-border attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others.

An Israeli offensive in Gaza has caused widespread devastation and killed over 33,700 people, according to local health officials.

FILE – Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel, Sunday, April 14, 2024. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday. Israel says more than 300 drones, cruise and ballistic missiles are launched by Iran, an extraordinary assault that is thwarted almost entirely by Israel’s aerial defense array and a coalition of countries repelling the onslaught. (AP Photo/Tomer Neuberg, File)via Associated Press

Currently:

— Biden hosts Iraqi leader after Iran’s attack on Israel throws Mideast into greater uncertainty.

— Israeli military renews warnings to Palestinians not to return to war-torn northern Gaza.

— Iran and Israel have a history of enmity. What key recent events led to Iran’s assault on Israel?

Here is the latest:

ISRAEL SAYS IT WILL RESPOND TO IRAN’S ATTACK

JERUSALEM — Israel’s military chief says the country will respond to Iran’s missile strike.

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said Monday that Israel is still considering its steps. But he said the Iranian strike of missiles and attack drones “will be met with a response.”

Halevi spoke during a visit to the Nevatim air base, which Israel says suffered light damage in the Iranian attack.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been huddling with top officials to discuss a possible response.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby declined to say whether the U.S. had been or expects to be briefed on Israeli response plans. “We will let the Israelis speak to that,” he told reporters Monday.

“We are not involved in their decision-making process about a potential response,” Kirby said.

PRO-PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATORS BLOCK TRAFFIC INTO CHICAGO AIRPORT

CHICAGO — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked a freeway leading to three Chicago O’Hare International Airport terminals Monday morning, temporarily stopping vehicle traffic into one of the nation’s busiest airports and causing headaches for travelers.

Protesters linked arms and blocked lanes of Interstate 190 around 7 a.m., a demonstration they said was part of a global “economic blockade to free Palestine,” according to Rifqa Falaneh, one of the organizers. Similar demonstrations blocking a freeway in California’s Bay Area also took place Monday.

O’Hare warned travelers on the social platform X to take alternative forms of transportation with car travel “substantially delayed this morning due to protest activity.”

UN SECURITY COUNCIL CONCERNED ABOUT RISK OF ESCALATION

UNITED NATIONS — A United Nations Security Council meeting on Yemen on Monday touched on the risk of escalation after Iran’s attack on Israel.

Diplomats are calling this “a particularly dangerous moment in the Middle East,” as U.N. special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said.

“The need for broader regional de-escalation is acute,” he added. “I share the secretary-general’s alarm about the very real danger of regionwide escalation and his urging to all parties for maximum restraint.”

A U.N. Security Council emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the attack ended without any action taken.

“Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said. “Now is the time for maximum restraint.”

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER URGES RESTRAINT

LONDON — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says “all sides must show restraint” to avoid a rising spiral of violence in the Middle East.

Sunak on Monday condemned Iran’s attack on Israel as “a reckless and dangerous escalation.” He said he would speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express the U.K.’s solidarity with Israel “and to discuss how we can prevent further escalation.”

Britain is urging Israel to refrain from a retaliatory strike. Sunak told lawmakers in the House of Commons that “we want to see calmer heads prevail.”

He said Israel’s security is “non-negotiable,” but added that the conflict in Gaza must be brought to an end, and the world “must invest more deeply in the two-state solution.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his speech after a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Jerusalem, Sunday, March 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, Pool)via Associated Press

IRAN’S BALLISTIC MISSILES

WASHINGTON — Iran had about 150 ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel from Iranian territory, and appears to have used up most of that current stockpile in its weekend attack, retired Gen. Frank McKenzie, the former head of U.S. CENTCOM said Monday.

McKenzie discussed the attack in a panel discussion with the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, a Washington-based think tank.

McKenzie argued that Iran’s expenditure of those 150 long-range missiles, out of a total ballistic missile stockpile of about 3,000, showed that Iran’s barrage on Israel “was a maximum effort. It was an indiscriminate effort.”

The U.S. and its partners in the region are easily able to track when Iran brings its ballistic missiles out of storage and positions them on launch pads, he said.

When Iran launches, deep space sensors detect that immediately, he said. Radars in the region then catch when any missiles break the radar plane, he said.

Especially given the distance involved, “it is hard for Iran to generate a bolt from the blue against Israel,” McKenzie said.

RUSSIA IS ‘EXTREMELY CONCERNED’

MOSCOW ― The Kremlin is “extremely concerned” about the situation in the Middle East, its spokesman said Monday.

Dmitry Peskov told his daily conference call with reporters that Moscow urges “all countries in the region to show restraint.”

“Further escalation is in no one’s interests. Therefore, of course, we advocate that all disagreements be resolved exclusively by political and diplomatic methods,” Peskov said.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CONDEMNS IRAN’S ATTACK

BERLIN -– Austria’s foreign minister has spoken with his Iranian counterpart to condemn Tehran’s attack on Israel and call on Iran to rein in its proxies in the Middle East.

Alexander Schallenberg said in a statement he told Iran’s Hossein Amirabdollahian on Monday that “we cannot afford another front in the Middle East. There would only be losers, in the region and beyond.”

Schallenberg said he also urged Amirabdollahian to “exercise Iran’s influence on proxies in the region.”

Austria hosted talks on Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.  » …
Read More

0 I like it
0 I don't like it