Updated April 15th, 2024 at 00:07 IST

Israel Will Exact a Price From Iran, in the Way and at a Time that Suits Us: Benny Gantz

As world leaders emphasise the need to prevent further escalation, Israel has convened its war cabinet to decide how best to respond to the Iranian attack.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Iran attacks Israel, Natanyahu vows retaliation | Image:Republic/AP
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Iran-Israel Tensions LIVE UPDATES: Iran's UN mission declared that its attack on Israel on April 14, purportedly in response to an Israeli assault on the Iranian consulate in Syria, has been concluded. This declaration was accompanied by a warning to Israel against any potential retaliatory measures. Tensions between the two nations have escalated dramatically, fueled by a series of military actions and inflammatory rhetoric. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) has lifted order for Israelis to stay near safe rooms, indicating the Iran attack is over for now.

The Israeli army reported that Iran had launched multiple drones into Israeli territory, while Iran's Revolutionary Guard simultaneously took responsibility for missile strikes against Israel. 

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Of the 331 missiles and drones launched by Iran at Israel: 185 out of 185 kamikaze drones were shot down, 103 out of 110 ballistic missiles were shot down and 36 out of 36 cruise missiles were shot down.

As for the projectiles that evaded interception, seven ballistic missiles reportedly impacted Israeli territorty, with reports of one ‘lightly damaged’ airbase and around 12 people being injured, a number that includes a seven-year-old girl from a Bedouin community near Arad who was hit by shrapnel after an Iranian drone was intercepted overhead.  

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Here are the live updates of the Iran-Israel conflict:

Israeli War cabinet meeting comes to an end after several hours

The meeting on Sunday, according to an anonymous official quoted by CNN, came to an end without a clear decision on how Israel will respond to the Iranian attack. The official reportedly said that the IDF has been tasked with providing the cabinet with additional options for response. 

Jordan summons Iranian ambassador in protest against ‘interference’ in internal matters

The Jordanian foreign ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador on Sunday to protest against comments made by Tehran earlier, BBC reported. This was in reference to comments reported in official Iranian media that warned Jordan it could be the next target of aggression if it cooperated with Israel in its showdown against Tehran. The Jordanian side reportedly emphasised that such comments constitute interference in the kingdom's internal matters. 

Jordan, it may be recalled, had reportedly intercepted Iranian drones that entered its airspace during the attack on Israel, with the kingdom noting that it had taken action in defence of its citizens. 

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Israeli ambassador to UN highlights Iran threat in letter to Secretary General

Ambassador Gilad Erdan said on X that he had written to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ahead of a Security Council meeting, emphasising the need to address the threat Iran poses to international peace and security. 

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EAM Jaishankar emphasises need for restraint and return to diplomacy in call with Iranian counterpart

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday that he had spoken to his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and taken up the matter of 17 Indian crew members on board the MSC Aries that was seized by Iran. He also said that he had discussed the current situation in West Asia and “stressed the importance of avoiding escalation, exercising restraint and returning to diplomacy.”

Taliban says Iran “exercised its legitimate right to self-defence last night”

Following the attack on Israel, the Taliban government in Afghanistan issued a statement through its ministry of foreign affairs defending Iran's right to legitimate self-defence, AP reported. The statement also condemned Israel for trying to “divert world attention away from the genocide of over 33,000 civilians in Gaza by violating the airspace of sovereign states and provocations aimed at broadening regional insecurity.”

IDF chief thanks US for joint defensive effort in face of Iranian attack

In a statement posted on X, the IDF said that its Chief of General Staff, General Herzi Halevi, had spoken to the commander of US Central Command, General Michael E Kurilla in order to express “great appreciation for the joint defense effort to thwart and intercept the Iranian attack on Israel.”

He also noted that close cooperation between the two forces throughout the war in Gaza had "resulted in the creation of a strong defense coalition that proved itself last night.”

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Recruitment on for two reserve brigades for missions in Gaza: IDF

The IDF, late on Sunday, said that, “in accordance with the assesment of the situation”, it would be recruiting for two reserve brigades in the coming days for the purpose of carrying out missions in the Gaza Strip. 

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UN Security Council to meet today for urgent discussion of Iran's attack on Israel

Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations said on X that the Security Council would convene for an urgent discussion of the Iranian attack at 23:00 tonight. Gilad said that he planned to urge the council to not only strongly condemn the attack but also take significant measures against Iran, including the declaration of the IRGC as a terrorist organisation.

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Leaders at the G7 virtual meet condemn Iran's attack on Israel

European Council President Charles Michel posted a picture of the virtual G7 meeting on X, stating that the leaders present all condemned the attack and that the crisis in West Asia would be a matter of discussion at the European Council meeting in the coming week. He also said that G7 leaders are continuing their efforts towards de-escalation and that ending the crisis in Gaza via an immediate ceasefire “will make a difference.”

Ursuala von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission also posted a statement on X, condemning the Iranian attack and saying that the leaders of the G7 nations stand in solidarity with the people of Israel.

The White House similarly condemned the Iranian attack in its own statement following the G7 meet, adding that the leaders of the Group of Seven reaffirmed their commitment to Israel's security during the meeting. 

Home Front Command's defence policy remains in effect: IDF

In a statement issued late on Sunday evening, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said that previously issued Home Front Command guidelines, which include closure of schools and limitation on public gatherings, will remain in-effect until 23:00 on Monday. 

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Cyprus seeks to distance itself from military actions taken to intercept Iran's attack

While speaking to the media on Sunday, Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides said that his nation was not involved in any military action to intercept Iran's attack against Israel, AP reported. Christodoulides said that aircraft from neighbouring countries had arrived in Cyprus on Saturday night and that they would be leaving on Sunday.

Morever, in response to a question about whether the UK government had informed Cyprus that its aircraft housed in a British base on the island nation would be involved in intercepting the Iranian attacks, Christodoulides said that he had received no such forewarning and that the British foreign minister had only spoken to his countepart in Cyprus ‘after the fact’. 

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UK Foreign Minister David Cameron condemns Iranian attack in call with Iranian counterpart 

Former British PM and current Foreign Minister David Cameron posted on X that he had spoken to Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian on Sunday and “formally condemned in the strongest terms” Iran's attack on Israel. He said that he had not only emphasised on the need to desist from such “reckless attacks” but had also called for the release of the MSC Aries which was seized by IRGC commandos. 

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Lufthansa suspends some West Asia flights through Monday in view of security situation

Europe's largest airline group, Luftansa, said on Sunday that it would suspend regular flights to and from Tel Aviv, Amman and Erbil through Monday with the plan at present being that flights on these routes will continue as usual from Tuesday, AP reported. However, flights to and from Beirut and Tehran would remain suspended until at least Thursday of this week. 

Yemen's Houthis issue statement in support of Iranian attack

On Sunday, the Houthis in Yemen, part of Iran's ‘axis of resistance’, issued a statement saying that Tehran's attack on Israel was a “legitimate act” carried out in retaliation against the airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. The spokesperson for the group, Mohamed Abdel Salam, said that Israel “won't be able to escape its crimes without punishment.”

“We will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran”: Benny Gantz

In a statement made on Sunday, war cabinet minister and leader of the National Unity Party Benny Gantz said “Iran is a global problem, it is a regional challenge and it is also a danger to Israel, and yesterday, the world clearly stood together with Israel in the face of the danger. Israel against Iran, the world against Iran – this is the result. This is a strategic achievement, which we must leverage for Israel’s security.”

“This event is not over – the strategic alliance and the regional cooperation system that we built and stood its significant test need to be strengthened precisely now. Israel proved yesterday that it is an anchor of military and technological power, and an anchor of security in the Middle East."

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“Faced with the threat of Iran – we will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran, in the way and at the time that suits us. And most importantly – in the face of the desire of our enemies to harm us, we will unite and become stronger,” he added. 

UK moving additional warplanes into the region

The British government has decided to move additional warplanes and refuelling tankers into the region following the attack on Israel, AP has reported. A British official told AP that a number of aircraft are being transferred on a temporary basis from Romania though they did not specify the exact location where these aircraft are being sent.

In an earlier statement, the UK government had said that it would be reinforcing air assets in the region to not only continue the existing operation against the Islamic State but also intercept “any airborne attacks within the range of our existing missions, as required.”

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Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues statement following Iranian attack

"Our warnings about the risk of spillover and escalation of Israel's ongoing war in Gaza have long been repeated to all our counterparts.

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The Israeli attack on the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, which violated international law, further raised our concerns. Iran's retaliation to this attack and subsequent developments have once again demonstrated that events could quickly escalate into a regional war.

Before the incident, we spoke with the Iranian and US authorities and urged restraint. The mutual expectations and messages of the parties were also relayed by Türkiye, and necessary initiatives were taken to ensure that the reactions were proportionate.

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Today, we are once again sending clear messages to the Iranian authorities and to the Western countries that have an influence on Israel, to urge all to put an end to the escalation.

We will continue our efforts to prevent the triggering of a process that would permanently damage the stability of our region and lead to greater global conflicts.

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We have also been closely monitoring the developments related to the security threats to Türkiye in consultation with our relevant institutions, and President Erdoğan is being briefed regularly."

Israel war cabinet meeting underway

Quoting an anonymous official, CNN reported that the much expected war cabinet meeting in Israel is now underway. The war cabinet, which will decide Israel's response to Iran's attack, consists of PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, leader of the National Union Party Benny Gantz, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and Gadi Eisenkot and Aryah Deri that are acting as observers. 

Ukraine condemns Iran's attack, says it understands the “horror” of similar attacks by Russia

Pope Francis appeals to belligerents to avoid “spiral of violence”

During routine Sunday prayers in the Vatican, the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church appealed to Israel and Iran to avoid any further actions that could drag the West Asian region into conflict, AP has reported. “I follow in prayer and with concern, even pain, the news that came in the last few hours about the aggravation of the situation in Israel, due to the intervention by Iran," he said. 

“No one should threaten the existence of others. Instead, all nations should side with peace and help Israelis and Palestinians to live in two States side by side, in safety. Enough war, enough attacks, enough violence. Yes to dialogue, yes to peace,” added Pope Francis. 

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Iran summons ambassadors from the UK, France and Germany over “irresponsible stances”

In a readout posted on its website, the foreign ministry of Iran said that it had summoned ambassadors from Britain, France and Germany over the “irresponsible stances” taken by their nations in regard to Iran's strikes against Israel. The readout noted that the director general of Western Europe at the ministry “denounced the European trio for the double standard regarding the Israeli regime's airstrike on on Iran’s diplomatic mission and at the same time slamming Iran for ‘exercising its inherent right to legitimate defense against any aggressor’ as per Article 51 of the UN Charter.”

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British PM Sunak condemns Iran's “unnecessary escalation”, pays tribute to Royal Airforce

Iran's Foreign Minister says US was informed about ‘limited’ attacks on Israel

During a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Tehran on Sunday, Foreign Ministen Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reportedly said that Iran had informed the US that would be carrying out ‘limited’ attacks against Israel for the purpose of ‘self-defence’. The minister also said that allied nations had been informed of the attack 72 hours in advance. Later in the day, during a press conference, Amir-Abdollahian confirmed the same and said that Iran had specifically refrained from targeting ‘economic or populated areas’ during its attack. 

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Moreover, he said that the attack was simply aimed at punishing the Israeli regime and that “We are not after American individuals or bases in the region.” 

Italy calls for G7 virtual meet after attack on Israel

Italy, which presently holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven, has called for a video meeting between the leaders of the G7 to discuss the situation in West Asia following the Iranian strikes on Israel, Reuters has reported. US President Joe Biden had previously said that the G7 would give a coordinated ‘diplomatic’ response to the attack. The G7 video meet will take place in the early afternoon hours, European time. 

IDF claims it has struck a “significant site” for production of munitions in Lebanon

In retaliation for the missile strikes launched against Israel by the Hezbollah, the IDF said that it had launched an airstrike on a munitions production facility in east Lebanon. 

IRGC commander says strikes “more successful than expected”

In comments carried by Iran's Tasnim News Agency, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Major General Hossein Salami said that preliminary reports indicate that the operation against Israel had “greater than expected success”. He noted that the operation could have been more widespread but Iran decided to confine the operation to target Israeli facilities that were used for the attack on the consulate in Damascus. 

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Indian Embassy in Iran releases helpline numbers:

The Embassy of India in Iran has activated additional helpline numbers for assistance to Indian nationals. The Helpline Numbers are as follows: +989128109115; +98993179567; +989932179359; +98-21-88755103-5.

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Indian Embassy in Israel releases helpline numbers:

The Embassy released two contact numbers, as follows: +972-547520711 and +972-543278392.

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The visuals below show Israelis running in panic following the attack.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a strong statement via social media, condemning Israel as a "malicious Zionist regime" and vowing retribution. "The Zionist regime will be punished", the supremo said. In response to these developments, Israel's war cabinet has authorized military action against what they termed "Iranian aggression." Prime Minister Netanyahu in his address spoke about a zero-tolerance stance, warning that no mercy would be shown towards 'any Iranian'. 

Amidst these hostilities, Jordan and Saudi Arabia allowed Israeli aircraft to use their airspace to intercept incoming drones. Reports also suggest that Yemen launched strikes against Israel. US' Middle-Eastern allies Kuwait and Qatar, as per reports from Iranian state media IRNA, issued warnings of actions if their airspace is violated in the ongoing conflict and used against Iran. The situation remains tense as both sides exchange threats and mobilize military assets. The West has condemned the Iranian Airstrikes and expressed solidarity with Israel. 

Saying that the US is “ironclad” in its approach against Iran and its proxies, US President Joe Biden said, “I just met with my national security team for an update on Iran’s attacks against Israel. Our commitment to Israel’s security against threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad.”
 

UK PM Rishi Sunak vows support to Israel

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowed support to Israelis and condemned Iran over the attack. Releasing a statement on X, he wrote, “Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos on its backyard.”

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Jordan says it intercepted Iranian drones crossing over its territory in self-defence

The Jordanian Council of Ministers said that it had dealt with a portion of Iran's attacks directed against Israel as they flew over its territory in order to "prevent them from endangering the safety of our citizens and residential and inhabited areas.”

France Helped Israel Against Iranian Missiles, Confirms IDF

IDF's military spokesperson has confirmed that apart from Jordan, UK and US, France had also come to Israel's defence.

Celebrations in Iran after attack on Israel

Thousands gathered in the Iranian capital's Palestine Square after the IRGC announced the military operation against Israel, with demonstrators waving Palestinian and Iranian flags and shouting “Death to Israel!” and “Death to America!” Many also took to the streets in an impromptou rally, replete with fireworks, to celebrate the occassion. 

 

Next Operation Will Be Much Bigger If Israel Responds, Warns Iran

Calling the operation a success, Iranian Major General Bagheri said that there the country didn't see any point in continuing the operation. “The reason for this operation was that the Zionist regime crossed Iran's red lines. We see this operation as a complete result and there is no intention to continue the operation. But if the Zionist regime responds, our next operation will be much bigger. We sent a message to the US through the Swiss embassy that if it cooperates with Israel in their possible next actions, their bases will not have any security and we will deal with that as well,” said Bagheri, as per reports.


Benjamin Netanyahu Dials US President Joe Biden

Netanyahu calls Biden


Soon after the war cabinet meeting ended, Netanyahu called up Biden to apprise him of all the decisions taken and discussed future plans. According to Israeli media reports, Joe Biden has told Netanyahu not to expect any assistance from US if Israel launches retaliatory attacks on Iran.

IDF acknowledges Israel's infrastructure was hit

The Israel Defense Forces have released a statement said, "Dozens of surface-to-surface missile launches from Iran were identified approaching Israeli territory. The IDF Aerial Defense Array successfully intercepted the majority of the launches using the Arrow Aerial Defense System, together with Israel's strategic allies, before the launches crossed into Israeli territory. A small number of hits were identified, including at an IDF base in southern Israel, where minor damage was caused to infrastructure. 

Many dozens of hostile aircraft, as well as dozens of cruise missiles, were identified approaching Israeli territory from Iran and intercepted over the past few hours. Dozens of IAF fighter jets are currently operating to intercept all aerial threats approaching Israeli territory. The IDF is deployed on all fronts, prepared, and continuing to defend Israeli territory."

Iran-Israel conflict - timeline

  • Israel strikes building next to Iranian embassy in Syria, killing 16 people including top generals. Soon after the attack, Iran vowed attack on Israel at a time of its choosing
  • Iran raids and successfully seizes Israeli-linked container ship.
  • Israel orders nationwide closure of schools amid Iran tension, 
  • Israel shuts down schools nationwide, puts military on full alert amid Iran threat.
  • Israel and Iran officially close all airspace.
  • Iran officially launches attack on Israel using dozens of drones.
  • Iran reportedly launches cruise missiles at Israel.
  • Yemen launches drone attack on Israel, Iranian media reports
  •  Israel Prime Minister says “do not expect mercy to be shown to any Iranian.” 
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Published April 14th, 2024 at 06:01 IST