Tags: israel iran hamas latest 04 14 2024

The Latest | Israel Hails Interception of Drones and Missiles in Unprecedented Attack by Iran

The Latest | Israel Hails Interception of Drones and Missiles in Unprecedented Attack by Iran

Sunday, 14 April 2024 02:01 AM EDT

Israel hailed the success of its defenses in the face of an unprecedented attack by Iran involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

An Israeli military spokesman said Sunday the launches numbered more than 300, but 99% of them were intercepted. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Iran fired 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles. Several ballistic missiles reached Israeli territory, causing minor damage to an air base.

The Iranian attack on Saturday, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, 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.

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 33,000 people, according to local health officials.

Currently:

— President Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his Delaware beach house to meet with his national security team and monitor the situation in the Middle East as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

— Israel has a multilayered air-defense system. It faces a big test with the Iranian drone strike.

Here is the latest:

JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday hailed the interception of virtually all of the more than 300 Iranian missiles and drones targeting its territory as a significant strategic success.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on social platform X: “We intercepted. We blocked. Together, we will win.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant added that “the Iranian attack was blocked in the most impressive way, together with our partners, the Americans and others.”

The Israeli army spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said that 99% of more than 300 launches, including drones, surface-to-surface missiles and cruise missiles, were intercepted outside Israeli territory. He said only a few got through, causing minor damage to an air base and injuring a 7-year-old girl in another location.

The successful interceptions come at a time when Israel is bogged down in its war against Hamas in Gaza, triggered by the militants’ deadly Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. At the start of the war, Israel vowed to crush Hamas and bring back hostages the militants had taken on Oct. 7. Yet Hamas, while significantly weakened, remains standing, and dozens of hostages are still in Gaza.

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Sunday that Hamas has rejected the latest proposal for a temporary cease-fire in Gaza, which would was to include the release of about 40 hostages held by the Islamic militants.

The proposal had been presented to Hamas a week ago by mediators Qatar, Egypt and the United States.

The Israeli statement said that Israel had shown flexibility in the negotiations. It alleged that Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar “continues to take advantage of the tensions with Iran” and seeks a wider regional escalation.

The statement came just hours after Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel early Sunday, with Israel saying 99% of the launches were intercepted.

JERUSALEM — Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday called Iran “a country of terror” after Tehran launched hundreds of drones and missiles toward Israel in an unprecedented attack.

"The Iranian attack was blocked in the most impressive way, together with our partners, the Americans and others ... The entire world saw today who is Iran — a country of terror,” Gallant said.

The attack, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, 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 U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting for 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) on Sunday, after Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles at Israel.

“The gravity and volume of the attacks is unprecedented,” Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan wrote in a letter to the council late Saturday calling for the meeting.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden says U.S. forces helped Israel down “nearly all” of the drones and missiles launched by Iran and pledged to convene allies to develop a unified response.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke early Sunday, Israeli time, their governments said. Biden said in a statement that he reaffirmed “America’s ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security — a departure from his harsh criticism over Israel’s handling of the war in Gaza.

“At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” Biden said in the statement. “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles.”

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is calling for an immediate halt to hostilities in the Middle East.

“I strongly condemn the serious escalation represented by the large-scale attack launched on Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran this evening,” Guterres wrote in a statement Saturday night.

“I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” Guterres wrote. “I have repeatedly stressed that neither the region nor the world can afford another war.”

The French government forcefully condemned the Iranian air attack on Israel.

French foreign minister Stéphane Séjourné said in a statement Saturday that in “taking such an unprecedented action, Iran has crossed a new threshold with regard to its destabilizing activities and is risking a potential military escalation.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote early Sunday on X that Germany condemns “in the strongest possible terms the ongoing attack, which could plunge an entire region into chaos.

“Iran and its proxies must stop it immediately,” Baerbock wrote. "We offer Israel our full solidarity at this time.”

Likewise, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his nation “unequivocally condemns Iran’s airborne attacks against Israel.”

"We stand with Israel. After supporting Hamas’ brutal October 7 attack, the Iranian regime’s latest actions will further destabilize the region and make lasting peace more difficult,” Trudeau said in a statement.

"We support Israel’s right to defend itself and its people from these attacks.”

U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said additional Royal Air Force jets and air refueling tankers have been sent to the Middle East to bolster Britain’s existing operation against the Islamic State Group in Iraq and Syria.

He said the jets “will intercept airborne attacks within range of our existing missions,” but did not confirm whether RAF jets had already shot down any Iranian drones.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of Argentine President Javier Milei says the leader will cancel a trip to Denmark and return to Buenos Aires due to Iran’s attack on Israel.

A statement from presidential spokesperson Manuel Adorni said Milei was flying home to form a “crisis committee in light of the latest events in Israel, to take charge of the situation and coordinate actions with the presidents of the Western world.”

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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Israel hailed the success of its defenses in the face of an unprecedented attack by Iran involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.An Israeli military spokesman said Sunday the launches numbered more than 300, but 99% of them were intercepted....
israel iran hamas latest 04 14 2024
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Sunday, 14 April 2024 02:01 AM
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