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Israel Says It Will Retaliate Against Iran Airstrikes

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Updated Apr 15, 2024, 02:25pm EDT

Topline

An Israeli military official said there will be a response to the Iranian missile attack that hit Israel Saturday night into Sunday, according to multiple reports—despite world leaders urging Israel to not retaliate.

Key Facts

Gen. Herzi Halevi, chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, said Monday: “Israel is considering its next steps and the launch of so many missiles and drones to Israeli territory will be answered with a retaliation,” Axios reported.

Halevi spoke from the Nevatim air base, which was hit in the attack from Iran and suffered light damage, the Associated Press reported.

News that Israel will retaliate came as international leaders—including French President Emmanuel Macron and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron—urged Israel to show restraint in an effort to avoid further escalation of the war in the Middle East.

Contra

President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday the U.S. will not participate in a counter-offensive from Israel against Iran. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby separately said on Meet the Press Sunday that Israel’s response “going to be up to them, we understand that and respect that” —though he added the U.S. is not seeking a war with Iran.

Big Number

99%. That’s how much of Iran’s attack Israel and its allies—including the U.S.—were able to intercept over the weekend, according to the AP.

Key Background

Iran launched a retaliatory attack on Israel over the weekend in response to an airstrike that destroyed the Iranian embassy in Syria and killed a top Iranian commander and six others on April 1—though Israel has not publicly taken responsibility for the attack, CNN reported. The Iranian government immediately blamed Israel for the attack and vowed revenge. After the weekend’s attack, Iran said the attacks were “concluded,” but warned Israel that if it further escalated the dispute the response would be “considerably more severe.” The United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also warned against Israel retaliating on Sunday, saying “the Middle East is on the brink” and “now is the time to defuse and de-escalate. Now is the time for maximum restraint.”

Further Reading

ForbesBritain And France Urge Israel To De-Escalate Iran Conflict-After US Says It Won't Join CounterattacksAP NewsThe Latest | World leaders urge Israel not to retaliate for the Iranian drone and missile attackForbesU.S. Privately Warns Israel About Retaliating Against Iran-But Won't Publicly
ForbesTop Iranian Commander Killed In Syrian Airstrike-Iran Blames Israel
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