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Biden claims he doesn't want a war with Iran but it's Netanyahu who decides as long as the US keeps standing by Israel 100%. And it seems the US is OK with Israel taking it further and further...

‘We do not seek conflict with Iran,’ says Pentagon chief

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has said that US forces helped intercept dozens of Iranian drones and missiles launched against Israel from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Austin condemned the Iranian attack, which was in retaliation to an Israeli air raid on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus, as “reckless and unprecedented”.

“We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel,” he said in a statement.

US and Israeli forces ‘acted together’ against Iran attack: Top senator

Chuck Schumer, the US Senate’s majority leader, has condemned the Iranian attack and called on Tehran to “ratchet down” its “aggressive” behaviour.

“I just spoke with top administration officials and they confirmed reports that US and Israeli forces acted together to help protect Israel from Iran launched missiles and drones,” the Democratic senator said in a statement. “As details continue to emerge, it appears thankfully that few drones made it through and there have been few casualties.”

Iran has stressed that it acted in self-defence after Israel carried out a deadly air strike on its consulate in Damascus.

Israeli PM pledges ‘win’

Benjamin Netanyahu, in a brief post on X, says Israel will achieve victory. “We intercepted, we repelled, together we shall win,” the Israeli prime minister said.

Israeli army says ’99 percent’ of Iran launches intercepted

The Israeli military’s chief spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari has said in a televised briefing:

  • More than 300 projectiles were fired at Israeli overnight from Iran, as well as some from Iraq and Yemen
  • 99 percent of them were intercepted
  • Iran undertook a very grave action that pushes the region towards escalation
  • The Israeli armed forces retain full functionality and are discussing options for follow-up operations.

Israel says will continue Gaza war ‘with full force’

Mossad has issued a statement via the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office on the Gaza ceasefire negotiations, alleging that Hamas rejected the proposal tabled by the mediators.

“Israel will continue to strive to realize the objectives of the war with Hamas with full force, and leave no stone unturned to return the 133 hostages from Gaza forthwith,” it said.

Hardline Israeli minister calls for ‘crushing attack’ on Iran

Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir praised the military defence against Iran’s barrage of missiles and drones. Now he’s calling for a major response against Iran. “Impressive defence so far – now we need a crushing attack,” he wrote on X.

Iran says it warned US its bases will be targeted if it backed an Israeli response

Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, has warned that an Israeli response to the Iranian military operation would be “much bigger”, according to Tasnim.

The news agency quoted him as saying that the reason for last night’s attack was that Israel had crossed Iran’s red lines.

Bagheri said Iran conveyed a message to the US through the Swiss embassy that if it participated “in further aggressive Zionist moves through its bases or military assets across the region, and this is proven to us, its bases and assets and personnel in the region will have no security”.

He added: “We will see it as aggressor as well and react accordingly.”

More from Iranian chief of staff

IRGC says attack achieved ‘success that exceeded expectations’

Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of the IRGC, has told state media that information is still coming in, but the initial Iranian assessment is that the operation achieved “a level of success that exceeded our expectations”.

“Naturally, people living in occupied lands, Zionist officials and the terrorist and occupying armies of the Zionist regime and the US have a better understanding of the pummeling effects of these attacks at this moment,” he said.

Salami said the US and France provided air cover for Israel in Iraq, Jordan and even parts of Syria, but “tens” of drones and cruise and ballistic missiles managed to punch through the layers of defensive capabilities.

“We could have launched a much larger attack, but we limited it to the capabilities that the Zionist regime had used to attack the Iranian consulate and martyr our dear commanders.”

What weapons did Iran strike Israel with?

What weapons did Iran choose to deploy? Here is Al Jazeera defence correspondent Alex Gatopolous’s take:

  • Iran fired a mix of drones, cruise missiles and about 110 ballistic missiles.
  • The drones were small and used in a “cheap cruise missile way”.
  • We’re talking about 50kg (110 pounds) compared with a tonne of warheads for ballistic missiles. They’re designed to try and overwhelm Israel’s advanced air defence systems, which are multilayered.
  • Iran is holding a lot of its inventory back, which includes hundreds of more missiles to a few thousands more drones.
  • Israel’s Nevatim airbase was hit by at least 15 ballistic missiles, but the Israelis intercepted most of them.

Extent of damage inside Israel still being assessed

It is unclear how much damage and how many casualties Israel sustained in the Iranian attack.

One of those injured was a seven-year-old girl from a Bedouin community near the southern town of Arad, who is in intensive care, according to the medical centre that received her. Also unclear is the extent of the damage to the Israeli airbase Nevatim, which was hit by at least 15 ballistic missiles. The Israelis say most of those were intercepted.

President Joe Biden said US forces helped Israel down “nearly all” of the drones and missiles launched.

Biden told Netanyahu US won’t support counterattack against Iran: Report

The US president told the Israeli prime minister during a call yesterday that the US will not support any Israeli counterattack against Iran, Axios quoted a senior White House official as saying.

Biden also told Netanyahu the joint defensive actions by Israel, the US and other countries in the region led to the repelling of the Iranian attack, according to the White House official.

“You got a win. Take the win,” he told Netanyahu, according to the official.

The official said when Biden told Netanyahu that the US would not take in any offensive operations against Iran and would not support such operations, the Israeli prime minister said he understood.

‘This is the distraction that Netanyahu wanted’

The Iranian attack is a useful diversion domestically and beyond for Netanyahu as it shifted the attention away from Gaza and from the criticism Israel is receiving for the way it’s conducting the war, according to an expert.

“These last 12 hours are a victory for Netanyahu – notice what we’re not talking about today.  We’re not talking about aid getting into Gaza. We’re not talking about the massacres in Gaza. No one in Israel is talking about the hostages any more,” Mohamad Elmasry, from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, told Al Jazeera.

“This is the distraction that Netanyahu wanted and we’re seeing sympathies in the Western capitals be reversed as they embrace the Israeli narrative once again,” Elmasry said.

Far-right Israeli minister calls for ‘full control over Gaza’

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich says ceasefire talks with Hamas will not bring captives home from Gaza.

“As I warned, giving up on Israel’s red lines and chasing after Hamas for a deal only makes the chance of bringing everyone home further away. It’s time to learn lessons, change direction, and restore full Israeli control all over the Gaza Strip,” he said on X.

Smotrich, who has been excluded from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet, has previously called for Palestinians to leave Gaza and make way for Israelis who could “make the desert bloom”.

‘Iran’s audacity in such an attack must be erased’: Israeli minister

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz says the threat to attack Iran after its retaliatory response continues to hold.

In an interview with Army Radio, Katz said: “We said that if Iran attacks Israel, we will attack it back and this is still effective. We need to deepen our cooperation with our allies. I will lead a political attack against Iran.”

Immigration Minister Ofir Sofer told Israeli Army Radio: “Iran’s audacity in such an attack must be erased.”

The Iranian mission to the United Nations earlier warned, “Should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe,” adding the United States must “stay away”.

Noting Israel’s deadly attack on its consulate in Syria, Iran also said now it “deemed the matter concluded”.


Israel strikes southern Lebanon after rocket barrage

Israel continues to hit southern Lebanon. Here is where it struck overnight and in the early morning, according to an Al Jazeera correspondent:

  • Nabi Sheet in the Bekaa area
  • Iqlim al-Tuffah
  • Khiam

Exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah have been nearly daily and largely confined to the border regions since the start of the war in Gaza.

But they have increased in intensity and frequency raising fear of a wider conflict. On Saturday, the Israeli army said it intercepted 40 launches from Lebanon, marking the armed group’s largest attack since October 7.

Israel continues to strike Gaza after Iran attack

Despite the Iranian attack, Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip in the past few hours.

Overnight, a number of residential buildings were destroyed in the Nuseirat refugee camp where there were casualties who were transported to al-Awda Hospital and al-Aqsa Hospital for treatment.

Here, in Rafah, we have been hearing the constant buzzing of Israeli surveillance drones since the early hours as they gather intelligence for potential targets. Confrontation and fighting are still raging in the northern part of Gaza.

According to witnesses on the ground in the north of Nuseirat refugee camp, Israeli drones have been firing at people. They also said Israel is demolishing houses and destroying agricultural land which could be a sign, according to experts, that Israel is expanding the corridor that it has recently established splitting the north and the south of the Strip.

Israeli army denies allowing Palestinians’ return to north Gaza

The Israeli military has dismissed speculation that it allowed the return of Palestinians to northern Gaza.

The army “does not allow the return of residents, neither through Salah al-Din nor through al-Rashid Street,” said spokesman Avichay Adraee on X, calling the rumours “false and baseless”.

He stressed that northern Gaza is still a war zone and no return will be allowed.

Gaza death toll rises to 33,729, with 76,371 Palestinians wounded

The number of Palestinians killed in Israel’s six-month war on Gaza has risen to 33,729, the Health Ministry says. Another 76,371 have been wounded in Israeli attacks. The death toll is likely much higher, with an estimated 8,000 bodies believed buried in bombed-out buildings.

The ministry said 43 Palestinians were killed and 62 wounded in the past 24 hours.

Israel enables West Bank settler attacks: B’Tselem

The Israeli rights group has said Israel “has created” a “reality of blood and revenge” by enabling settler attacks across the occupied West Bank.

“With scenes of homes and vehicles set on fire, and the numbers of casualties rising, the Israeli army enables these attacks or even participates in them,” B’Tselem said in a post on social media.

As we reported earlier, 49 Palestinians were injured in Israeli settler attacks across the occupied West Bank on Friday and Saturday after an Israeli teenager went missing and was later found dead.

Settler violence across occupied West Bank

Tensions in the occupied West Bank have been rising following a wave of settler attacks. Here’s a recap of what happened over the past two days:

  • A 25-year-old Palestinian was killed in al-Mughayyir northeast of Ramallah on Friday in a massive settler attack triggered by the disappearance of a 14-year-old Israeli who was later found dead.
  • A second Palestinian aged 17 was killed on Saturday in Beitin.
  • Settler attacks took place in a number of Palestinian towns and villages, including Beitin, al-Mughayyir, Sinjel, Turmus Aya, Abu Falah, Duma, al-Sawiyeh and Huwara.
  • According to local sources, settlers shot at, threw rocks and set fire to Palestinians and their properties.
  • Other attacks were carried out in Beit Furik and Qusra, close to Nablus to the north of the West Bank, as well as in the northern Jordan Valley village of Ein al-Hilweh and Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron Hills.
  • According to the UN, settlers have killed at least eight Palestinians since the start of the war in Gaza, with the West Bank witnessing an unprecedented wave of settler violence.
  • Palestinians say settler attacks often take place in the presence of Israeli soldiers.

Israeli settler attacks kill 2; 50 Palestinians wounded in occupied West Bank

We have been speaking about settler attacks since the war started but this has been the largest wave of settler attacks.

It started in al-Mughayyir village where they believed an Israeli settler’s body has been found, but it continued and spanned through many places in the north of the occupied West Bank.

At least 50 Palestinians were injured by the Israeli settlers who, according to locals, were working under the protection of the Israeli army. Two Palestinians were killed and the funeral procession of one of them has just passed near us.

It remains a very tense situation. Some of the people here told us it is alarming that the settlers continued attacking even as the Iranian attack was happening on Israel. They expect more Palestinians to be put at risk as the day goes by.

Around the Network

Never ending negotiations continue, sort of

Where do the Gaza ceasefire negotiations stand?

  • Hamas said on Saturday it had delivered its response to the latest proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza and a prisoner exchange deal.
  • The group did not explicitly reject the draft deal but reiterated its longstanding demands for a permanent ceasefire and the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, which Israeli officials have repeatedly opposed.
  • Hamas has demanded a “clear written commitment” that Israel would withdraw from the Gaza Strip during the second of a three-phase ceasefire deal, with an unnamed official telling Reuters: “We confirm our readiness to reach a deal regarding a serious exchange of prisoners between the two sides.”
  • Israeli PM Netanyahu, who insists on launching a ground invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza, accused Hamas on Saturday of being the “only obstacle” to the deal.
  • Earlier today, Israel’s Mossad spy agency said in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office that Hamas had rejected the proposal and said Israel would continue to work to achieve the objectives of the war against Hamas with full force.

It all did seem well choreographed, attack and defense

Iran says it informed US attack on Israel would be ‘limited’

Hossein Amirabdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, just spoke in a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Tehran. Here is what he said:

  • We informed the US our operation against Israel will be “limited” and for self-defence.
  • We don’t seek to expand conflict in the region.
  • We have informed the US we’ll target its bases if Iran is targeted.
  • About 72 hours prior to the operation, we informed our neighbours and countries in the region that Iran’s response, as part of a legitimate defence, was certain and definitive.
  • The security of neighbouring countries is top of Iran’s priorities.

Iran provided ‘an off-ramp to pause escalation’

Analysts suggest Iran’s slow-moving drone attack was calibrated to represent a show of power but also allow some time for defensive measures.

“It appears that Iran telegraphed its attack on Israel to demonstrate it can strike using different capabilities, to complicate the [Israeli army’s] ability to neutralise the assault, but also to provide an off-ramp to pause escalation,” said Nishank Motwani, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Washington, DC.

“Tehran can escalate if it chooses to across a range of vectors,” said Motwani, including via Lebanon’s armed group Hezbollah, sea attacks, “or hitting soft Israeli targets globally”.

Everyone can claim victory, Iran showed their strength, the West can 'tut tut' Iran while showing their support for Israel.

UK PM says British jets shot down Iranian drones

Rishi Sunak says British fighter jets downed drones launched by Iran in its attack on Israel. “I can confirm that our planes did shoot down a number of Iranian attack drones,” the UK prime minister said.

70 Iranian drones taken out by US naval forces in the Mediterranean: Report

US naval forces shot down about 70 Iranian attack drones launched towards Israel, US broadcaster ABC News reports. One unnamed official said a US Navy destroyer in the Eastern Mediterranean also downed an undetermined number of ballistic missiles fired by Iran.

Other than US military assistance, Israel says, France also helped during the attack, and Jordan said it took out projectiles fired over its airspace.

Now pat yourself on the back and let it rest before things get much worse still.

Latest reactions to Iran attack on Israel

  • “We condemn Iran’s overnight escalation, call for restraint, and are monitoring developments closely. It is vital that the conflict in the Middle East does not spiral out of control,” NATO’s spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah said.
  • German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Israel has showed that it is strong and could defend itself. “Iran is isolated with its aggressive behaviour with which it wants to destabilise an entire region,” she said.
  • Pope Francis made an “urgent appeal” against a “spiral of violence” that risks “dragging the Middle East into an even greater conflict”.
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “We strongly condemn Iran’s reckless and dangerous attacks on Israel … Israel’s security must not be further jeopardised and it is very important to prevent regional escalation."

Iran Foreign Ministry summons UK, France, Germany ambassadors

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the ambassadors from the United Kingdom, France and Germany after the countries condemned Tehran for its unprecedented attack against Israel.

The director for Western Europe at the ministry accused the three countries of “double standards” as they opposed earlier this month a Russian-drafted UN Security Council statement that would have condemned Israel’s attack on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria.

Iran condemned Western members of the UNSC for failing to denounce Israel’s attack on its consulate in Syria on April 1, which killed seven members of its IRGC, including two senior generals.

Over the last two weeks, Iranian authorities repeatedly pledged to “punish” Israel after the death of IRGC officers – including two generals of the Quds Force – in the attack that levelled the Iranian consulate in Syria.

Palestinians attempt to return to homes in northern Gaza

Video footage verified by Al Jazeera has showed hundreds of displaced Palestinians trying to return from the central Gaza Strip to its north via the coastal al-Rashid Street.

Local Palestinian sources and journalists reported that some families arrived in the northern Gaza Strip at dawn today, but there are also reports of the Israeli army later blocking passage and opening fire.

As we reported earlier, the Israeli military issued a statement denying that displaced Palestinians would be allowed to return to northern Gaza, with spokesperson Avichay Adraee saying on X that the area is a “war zone”.

No surprise here

Israeli military targets displaced families attempting return to north Gaza

One of the latest Israeli military operations in Gaza has targeted a group of Palestinians who were prepared to return to the north of the Strip. In the early hours of this morning, some families managed to return to the north. So people started to gather in large groups to push their way to the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military had blocked the road with tanks, throwing smoke grenades at the crowds. They told them to return as no decision was made yet by the Israeli military to allow people to return to the north.

Testimonies of displaced people targeted during attempt to return to northern Gaza

In a video verified by Al Jazeera, a number of the displaced Palestinians recounted how they were targeted by the Israeli army while trying to return to the northern Gaza Strip.

“We reached the vicinity of the Israeli vehicles, we were shot and there were injuries, I was afraid for my children and I returned to the middle of the Gaza Strip,” one woman said.

Another woman added: “We were shelled with artillery shells, we risked ourselves and our children because we want to return to northern Gaza, there are our families, our house and everything we have, our house was bombed and I will go to my husband’s family house.”

Montaser Masoud, a displaced man from Jabalia camp, said: “We heard news that people had returned to northern Gaza, and we found thousands when we arrived, the planes fired at us, and there are young men and women who were injured, there are a large number of injured.”

“The army shot at us while we were trying to return to Gaza City, I wanted to go back to my children, but the Israeli army shot us and expelled us,” a woman said.

Starving Palestinians queue for hours to buy bread

Palestinians wait in long queues for hours in order to buy bread in Gaza City

Bread is available in limited amounts as Israel restricts the amount of flour entering northern Gaza. Famine is stalking Gaza as aid agencies struggle to deliver food to the north. At least 500,000 people are facing famine while nearly the entire population of Gaza, 2.3 million people, is experiencing acute food shortages.

Flour, other food supplies increasingly available in northern Gaza

Moath al-Kahlout, reporting from Jabalia, northern Gaza, says markets are witnessing a small recovery after flour, food and supplies entered through al-Rashid Street.

“Finally, you can see flour in the markets, food, tomatoes and potatoes. Sellers have something to offer after more than half a year of being closed and markets destroyed,” he said. “They have expensive products, but the prices are dropping every day, so today’s prices are cheaper than yesterday’s.”

He added that while the influx of flour is alleviating the long lines at the only bakery operating in Gaza City, people are still asking for the arrival of more trucks to solve the humanitarian problem.

Palestinians discover bodies under sand mounds in Beit Lahia

The withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Gaza revealed the bodies, which were discovered under mounds the forces had erected in northern Gaza. The bodies were shown in a video published by Palestinian journalist Hossam Shabat and verified by Al Jazeera.

“The land had served as a temporary cemetery, and Israeli forces constructed their base by excavating the land and placing their sand barriers on top of the deceased bodies,” Shabbat wrote on social media alongside a video of the sand mounds.

In the video, several Palestinians can be seen digging the bodies out from underneath the sand and placing them on white burial cloths.

Israeli settlers seize Palestinian quarry worker near Ramallah

A quarry worker has been injured and another was kidnapped in an attack by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, according to Wafa.

Local sources told the news agency that the settlers, protected by the Israeli army, stormed the Ain Samiya area, east of the village of Kafr Malek, near Ramallah, assaulting a number of workers in a quarry.

Maher Al-Darbani, 22, was abducted, the report said.

Occupied West Bank death toll since October 7 rises to 464

The Palestinian health ministry reports 464 citizens were killed and 4,800 others injured in Israeli violence in the occupied West Bank since October 7 last year, according to the Wafa news agency.

The updated death toll comes with the report of four killings and about 60 injuries recorded since Friday.

Those killed by Israeli soldiers and illegal settlers included Muhammad Issam Shahmawi, 22, from Tubas, Muhammad Rasoul Daraghmeh, 26, from Tubas, Jihad Afif Sidqi Abu Aliya, 25, from al-Mughayyir, and Omar Ahmed Hamed, 17, from Beitin.

Damaged homes and burning vehicles after a raid by settlers on Mughir near Ramallah

Two Palestinians injured in separate West Bank attacks by Israeli settlers

Israeli forces have shot and injured a young man in the town of Hableh, south of Qalqilya city, in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources quoted by the Wafa news agency.

The man, who was shot in the hand, was transferred to Darwish Nazzal Governmental Hospital.

Separately, in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, Alaa Omar Abu Ghalioun, 42, was beaten and injured by a group of illegal Israeli settlers who were operating under the protection of the Israeli military, Wafa reported.

The incident happened on the victim’s land in the Batin al-Maasi area, south of al-Khader, according to Wafa’s interview with Palestinian activist Ahmed Salah.

A Palestinian boy looks at burned cars in the village of Qusra, near the West Bank city of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, Sunday

CCTV footage captures moment settlers burn car as Israeli soldiers look on

Footage from a surveillance camera, verified by Al Jazeera, has emerged showing settlers setting fire to a car owned by Palestinians in a garage located near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, as Israeli soldiers watch and fail to intervene.

The footage shows two settlers entering the garage, pouring a flammable liquid over the windshield and a car door, and setting fire to it. One soldier who is closest to the garage ducks as the flames engulf it before he proceeds to walk away.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has quoted the Israeli army as saying the car burning was a “serious incident” and that the way the soldiers “acted in the footage does not correspond to the army’s values and orders”.

“The incident is [being] investigated, and the soldiers will be handled accordingly,” the army reportedly said.

They'll get a pat on the back and told to take out the CCTV cameras first next time.

‘A hero in the eyes of Palestinians’: Iran attack praised in Gaza

Footage circulated from Gaza shows many residents, including inside displacement tents, whistling and others chanting in joy as Israel’s skies were lit up by Iranian missiles and Israeli interceptors.

“Whoever decides to attack Israel, dares to attack Israel at a time when the whole world acts in its service, is a hero in the eyes of Palestinians regardless of whether we share their [Iran] ideology or not,” said Majed Abu Hamza, 52, a father of seven, from Gaza City.

“We have been slaughtered for over six months and no one dared to do anything. Now Iran, after its consulate was hit, is hitting back at Israel and this brings joy into our hearts.”

The Palestinian group Hamas defended Iran’s attack, saying the assault was “a natural right and a deserved response” to the strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria’s capital Damascus on April 1.

Turkey’s foreign minister speaks to Iranian counterpart

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has held a telephone conversation with Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian. Fidan said his government did not want any more escalation in the region, according to diplomatic sources.

Amirabdollahian told the Turkish minister that Iran’s retaliatory operation against Israel had ended and that the country would not undertake another action unless it was attacked.

Iran has taken Middle East to the ‘edge of the precipice’: Germany

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says Iran’s attack on Israel has pushed the Middle East to the “edge of a precipice”. She said Tehran had “plunged an entire region into chaos” and said the spiralling tensions need to end.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz denounced the “grave escalation”, underlined Berlin’s “solidarity” with Israel, and called for restraint. He told reporters during a visit to China, “We cannot but call on everyone, in particular Iran, to not continue along this path.”

The ball is in your court to de escalate. Iran has already said they're done with the matter. So call on yourself and Israel to de escalate.

Here is the real danger

Far-right minister Smotrich calls for Israel to respond to Iran attack

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has called on the government to respond to Iran’s attack. “If our response will resonate throughout the Middle East for generations to come – we will win,” the far-right politician said.

“If we restrain ourselves, we will put us and our children in an immediate existential danger,” he added.

Gantz says Israel to exact price from Iran when time is ‘right’

EU foreing policy chief sets extraordinary meeting for Tuesday

Josep Borrell, EU’s foreign policy chief, called an extraordinary video meeting of the bloc’s top diplomats on Tuesday to “contribute to de-escalation and security in the region”.

US reiterating it does not want war with Iran

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has been making the rounds on the Sunday TV chat shows here in the United States and the message is very clear. He has repeatedly reiterated on behalf of the US president, “We do not seek to have war with Iran.”

Τhe US president is convening a conference with the G7 leaders, while Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be discussing with his counterparts across western Europe and elsewhere in order to try and bring the temperature down, if you will.

What they are trying to do is to see that this does not broaden across the Middle East.

UK seems eager

UK moves additional warplanes to the Middle East

The British government says it moved “several additional” fighter jets and refueling tankers to the region following Iran’s attack on Israel.

In a statement, the government said the air assets will bolster the UK’s existing operation against the armed group ISIL (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, as well as intercepting “any airborne attacks within the range of our existing missions as required”.

A spokesperson said a “number of aircraft” have been “temporarily moved” from Romania to boost “our existing footprint in the region”.


G7 condemns Iran’s attack on Israel

After a video conference held by G7 leaders, the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, said the group “unanimously condemned” the drone and missile attack, but added that “all parties must exercise restraint”.

“We will continue all our efforts to work towards de-escalation. Ending the crisis in Gaza as soon as possible, notably through an immediate ceasefire, will make a difference,” Michel added.

He also said that the situation in the wider region, including in Lebanon, would be discussed at the European Council next week.

US and Iran had contact through Swiss intermediaries ahead of attack: Report

Reuters, citing a senior official in the administration of US President Joe Biden, reports that the United States had contact with Iran through Swiss intermediaries both before and after Tehran’s overnight drone and missile attack on Israel.

The official declined to provide details on the contact, saying only that the US and Iran had “a series of direct communications through the Swiss channel”.

Asked about comments by Iran’s foreign minister that Tehran had given regional countries 72 hours’ notice of the attacks, the official said that was not true. “They did not give a notification,” the official said. “They were clearly intending to destroy and to cause casualties.”

Yet somehow all regional countries closed their air spaces ahead of the attack and cancelled flights...

More projection, the central threat is Israel's right wing government.

Israeli FM discusses Iran’s ‘threat’ to regional stability with Egyptian counterpart

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz says he spoke to his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry and emphasised Israel’s right to defend itself against Iran.

“I stressed that Iran and its proxies are the central threat to stability in the Middle East,” Katz wrote.

“The moderate countries in the region, along with the rest of the world, must act to stop Iran’s aggression. The relationship with Egypt is important, and we will continue to work together to maintain stability and security in the region.”

‘When you have a genocidal state in the neighbourhood, people get concerned’

Foad Izadi, a professor in the Faculty of World Studies at Tehran University, spoke to Al Jazeera about what Iranians feel about last night’s attacks on Israel. He said Iranians have seen pictures coming out of Gaza and realise that “Israelis have no ethical standards”.

“When you have a genocidal state in the neighbourhood, people get concerned. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Iran is able and willing to defend itself, and that’s what last night’s attack was all about,” he said.

He said Iranians are now confident that the country is able to defend the territory of Iran.

“It may be true that most of the rockets were intercepted, but some got in,” he noted, adding, “and with a few of those missiles, you can achieve the policy objective, which is creating deterrence – the idea of don’t attack Iran because if you attack Iran, there’s going to be a cost.”

The UNSC meeting went as expected. UN wants to de-escalate, Israel wants to form a coalition to take on Iran, US wants actions but not be involved in them.

Israel's classic projection

Israel’s ambassador compares Iran with Nazis

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, says: “From the moment I began my tenure here, in every speech and in countless letters, I rang the warning bell regarding Iran.

“I called on this council to take concrete action against the Ayatollah regime. I made it clear that Iran and its hegemonic ambitions of global domination must be stopped before it drives the world to a point of no return, to a regional war that can escalate to a world war.

“Last night, the world witnessed an unprecedented escalation that serves as the clearest proof for what happens when warnings aren’t heeded.” He then said that Iran’s goal “has been and continues to be world domination by exporting its radical [Shia] revolution across the globe”.

“The Islamic regime of today is no different from the Third Reich and Khamenei is no different from Adolf Hitler,” he added.

Israel makes three demands at UNSC

In his pretty long speech, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, had a lot of hyperbole in there but when it got down to what Israel really wants to see, it came down to three things:

There was a strong condemnation that Israel hopes the Security Council will issue against Iran.

Israel is expecting the UN to impose more sanctions and the Israeli ambassador says [JCPOA nuclear deal measures] should be implemented immediately.

And then he also wants the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] to be tagged as a “terrorist organisation”.

But I think it was the sanctions that Israel was really looking for here and we’ll have to see if that comes about. [Essentially], Israel has laid out the case that they are the victims here and Iran – in their view – is the one spreading “terror”; not only, in their view, in Israel but in other parts of the world and region as well.

UN has obligation to not let Iran’s actions go unanswered: US deputy ambassador to UN

It’s the US’s turn to speak at the UN Security Council, and deputy ambassador to the UN Robert Wood takes the opportunity to criticise Iran for its attack on Israel, as well as its actions in the wider region.

He says that the US will explore additional measures to hold Iran accountable at the UN, and says that Iran will be held responsible for any further actions it takes. He adds that an unequivocal condemnation of Iran is needed from the UN Security Council.

US rules out joining Israeli counterattack on Iran

A senior US official has confirmed that Biden told the Israeli prime minister Washington would not offer military support for any retaliation against Iran’s attack, according to the AFP news agency.

“We would not be a part of any response they do,” the unnamed official told was quoted as saying. “We would not envision ourselves participating in such an act.”

Sorry, but Iran is not the aggressor here

Al Jazeera columnist Belen Fernandez argues, “In light of the unceasing slaughter in Gaza … the Western response to the intercepted Iranian missiles and drones is sickeningly cynical.”

US, UK, France have shown ‘hypocritical behaviour’: Iran’s ambassador

Iran’s ambassadoe to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, said, “In response to the Israeli regime’s recurring military aggression, particularly its armed attack on April 1 2024 against Iranian diplomatic premises” and in line with the second article of the UN charter, the Iranian military “carried out a series of military strikes on Israeli military objectives” using missiles and drones.

The operation, he said, “was entirely in the exercise of Iran’s inherent right to self-defence”.

He then highlighted the US, UK and France as having chosen “to turn a blind eye to reality and overlook the root causes contributing to the current situation”. “In hypocritical behaviour, these three countries falsely blamed and accused Iran without considering their own failures: to uphold the international commitment to peace and security in the region.

“They made unsuccessful attempts to use lies, manipulate the narrative, spread disinformation and engage in a destructive blame game. “For over six months now, these countries, especially the United States, have shielded Israel from any responsibility for the Gaza massacre.

“While they have denied Iran the inherent right to self-defence against the Israeli armed attack on our diplomatic premises, at the same time, they shamefully justified a massacre and genocide against the defenceless Palestinian people”.

Israel not going to get a UNSC statement of condemnation

Israel was certainly hoping there would be condemnation [of Iran’s attacks] but it appears that there will not be a statement from the Security Council. The council operates with consensus and clearly, they did not have consensus on this.

That will not sit well with the Israelis but I should point out that after the April 1 Israeli attack on the Iranian diplomatic mission in Damascus, Russia and Algeria, and other Security Council members, also asked for a statement of condemnation and that did not happen either, mostly blocked by the United States, France and the UK.

So where are we at? We’re back to the point of everyone calling for restraint and where all council members – and this is where we have some sort of unanimity… on opinions – calling for no escalation.

And clearly, the ball now is in Israel’s court because Iran has said they consider this matter over at this point.


Israeli cabinet wants response to Iran attack, is divided over timing and scale: Reports

Israeli officials say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet favours a retaliation against Iran for its mass drone and missile attack, but is divided over the timing and scale of any such response, according to Israeli media reports.

The five-member cabinet, in which Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz have decision-making powers, met on Sunday and was expected to convene again for further discussions.

The Times of Israel, citing multiple Hebrew media outlets, reported that Gantz and his political ally Gadi Eisenkot, an observer in the war cabinet, suggested retaliating, even during Iran’s attack. Israel’s Channel 12 reported that Gallant, Army Chief Herzi Halevi and others opposed this idea, in part because the Israeli air force was already deployed to intercept the incoming drones and missiles.

WW3 rests in the hands of Netanyahu....