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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Israel Says Iran Launched Drones at Its Territory in Retaliatory Strike: Live Updates - The New York Times

Live Updates: Iran Launches Retaliatory Strike at Israeli Territory, Both Nations Say

"Israel’s air raid alert system issued dozens of warnings about possible incoming missiles and aircraft in the nation’s southern region, and in Jerusalem.

Current time in:

Tel Aviv April 14, 2:19 a.m.

Loud explosions were heard in the skies above Jerusalem early on Sunday morning, indicating air defenses were attempting to intercept missiles or aircraft. Sam Mednick/Associated Press


Iran launched a broad aerial attack on Israel from its territory on Saturday, in retaliation for a deadly Israeli airstrike in early April on the Iranian Embassy complex in Damascus, the Israeli military and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps said.

Just before 2 a.m. local time, air-raid sirens sounded across vast swaths of southern Israel, the West Bank and Golan Heights, indicating either missiles or enemy aircraft overhead. The government also sent out warnings about possible missiles arriving in the Negev Desert, where there are several military bases.

Aaron Boxerman
April 13, 2024, 7:08 p.m. ET

Israel’s emergency service, Magen David Adom, said there were no immediate reports of casualties following the Iranian attack, although a few Israelis were injured while rushing to fortified bomb shelters. 

Patrick Kingsley
April 13, 2024, 7:07 p.m. ET

Several booms were heard in the skies above Jerusalem in recent minutes, indicating that Israel’s air defense system has been intercepting incoming aircraft or missiles.

Eric Schmitt
April 13, 2024, 6:54 p.m. ET

British fighter jets and aerial refueling planes based in Cyprus have taken over much of the counterterrorism mission in the skies over Iraq and northeastern Syria, freeing up American warplanes normally operating there to help defend Israel against the Iranian drone attack on Saturday, a British official said.

Patrick Kingsley
April 13, 2024, 6:51 p.m. ET

Israel’s air raid alert system has sounded warnings across vast swaths of southern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territory of the West Bank and the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and later annexed. The alarms indicated either missiles or enemy aircraft overhead.

Patrick Kingsley
April 13, 2024, 6:46 p.m. ET

Israel’s air raid alert system has issued dozens of warnings about possible incoming missiles or aircraft in the Negev Desert in southern Israel. There are several military bases in the area.

Aaron Boxerman
April 13, 2024, 6:48 p.m. ET

Loud booms and air raid sirens resound in Jerusalem. 

Farnaz Fassihi
April 13, 2024, 6:42 p.m. ET

Iran’s mission to the United Nations said in a statement on social media that Iran’s attack on Israel was in line with the U.N. charter of legitimate self-defense and suggested that the standoff with Israel could end with the tit-for-tat responses. “Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premise in Damascus. The matter can be deemed concluded. However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe.”

Aurelien Breeden
April 13, 2024, 6:28 p.m. ET

France on Saturday condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the Iranian strike on Israel. “By taking such an unprecedented action, Iran has crossed a new threshold in its destabilizing actions, and runs the risk of military escalation,” Stéphane Séjourné, France’s foreign minister, said on X.

Farnaz Fassihi
April 13, 2024, 6:14 p.m. ET

Iran’s defense minister, Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, told state television that any country that allows its airspace to be used for attacks on Iran will be a target. “Any country that allows its airspace or soil to be used for Israel to attack Iran will receive a firm response from us.”

Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA, via Shutterstock
Euan Ward
April 13, 2024, 6:00 p.m. ET

Hezbollah announced in a statement just after midnight that it had fired dozens of rockets at an Israeli barracks in the Golan Heights. It was not immediately clear if the bombardment was connected to the Iranian attack. Lebanon’s state news agency earlier reported intense Israeli bombardment in southern Lebanon.

Euan Ward
April 13, 2024, 5:57 p.m. ET

The airspaces of Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon are all now closed, according to Flightradar24, a real-time aircraft flight tracking tool.

Patrick Kingsley
April 13, 2024, 5:53 p.m. ET

The Israeli military will hold a situational assessment at around 6 a.m. local time Sunday (11 p.m. Eastern time Saturday) to decide how to respond to the Iranian attack, according to an Israeli military official who briefed international journalists Saturday evening.

Tens of Israeli planes are flying across Israeli airspace, ready to shoot down Iranian aircraft, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to comply with military protocol.

He added that Israel may try to shoot down incoming aircraft before they reach Israeli airspace and said that it is “absolutely possible” that Jordan may fire on any Iranian aircraft that enter its skies.

Ronen Bergman
April 13, 2024, 5:43 p.m. ET

Israeli intelligence has detected the launch of dozens of drones and cruise missiles from Iran and Iraq, according to two Israeli officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss military intelligence. The areas of impact are expected to be the Golan Heights and an Israeli air force base in the Negev Desert, the officials said.

Cassandra Vinograd
April 13, 2024, 5:26 p.m. ET

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is currently meeting with his war cabinet, according to a statement from his office.

Farnaz Fassihi
April 13, 2024, 5:25 p.m. ET

Ali Vaez, the Iran director of the International Crisis Group said in an interview, “Iran and Israel are taking the region into uncharted waters. It is difficult to overstate how perilous this moment is, and how disastrous its consequences could prove.”

Michael D. Shear
April 13, 2024, 5:12 p.m. ET

President Biden arrived back at the White House at 5:02 p.m. Eastern time and walked quickly into the Oval Office. Officials said he would meet with his National Security Council soon.

Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times
Farnaz Fassihi
April 13, 2024, 5:10 p.m. ET

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said in their statement that the attack on Israel was ordered by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and was under the guidance of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the senior military body that coordinates Iran’s armed forces. The statement said that details of the operation will soon be shared with the public.

Aaron Boxerman
April 13, 2024, 5:05 p.m. ET

Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military spokesman, calls the Iranian attack “a severe and dangerous escalation.” 

“Our defensive and offensive capabilities are at the highest level of readiness ahead of this large-scale attack from Iran,” Hagari said.

Farnaz Fassihi
April 13, 2024, 4:53 p.m. ET

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said in a statement broadcast on state television that it had launched missile and drone attacks on Israel from Iran. “The aerospace unit of the Revolutionary Guards has attacked targets in Israel with dozens of drones and missiles in reaction to the Zionist regime’s crimes, including the attack on the consulate section of Iran’s embassy in Damascus and martyring our commanders and military advisers in Syria.”

Farnaz Fassihi
April 13, 2024, 4:44 p.m. ET

Iranian media affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, Tasnim, a semiofficial news agency, reported that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had launched attacks on Israel "from all directions." It said dozens of drones from Iran "were launched toward targets in occupied territories.”

Aaron Boxerman
April 13, 2024, 4:39 p.m. ET

Israel plans to close its airspace to international and domestic air traffic beginning at 12:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, the Israel Airports Authority said in a statement, as the country awaits the arrival of Iranian drones fired at its territory.

President Biden returned from his vacation home in Rehoboth, Del., to the White House on Saturday evening to consult with his national security team about events in the Middle East.Yuri Gripas for The New York Times

The spokeswoman for the National Security Council at the White House confirmed Saturday evening that Iran had launched what she called “an airborne attack” against Israel and vowed that the United States would help Israel defend itself.

“President Biden is being regularly updated on the situation by his national security team and will meet with them this afternoon at the White House,” Adrienne Watson, the spokeswoman, said in a statement. 

A Palestinian woman injured in an Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat in central Gaza is brought into a hospital in Deir al-Balah on Saturday.Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Less than a week after withdrawing ground troops from southern Gaza, the Israeli military has shifted its focus to the central Gaza Strip, where its forces were operating for the third day on Saturday and residents and Palestinian media reported heavy bombardments and intense fighting.

The Israeli military announced on Thursday that it had begun a “precise operation” in the central Gaza Strip, saying it had carried out airstrikes ahead of its ground troops raiding the area. It added that the Israeli navy had conducted several strikes along the coastline to assist the ground troops.

Iranian forces seized a container ship with links to Israel in the Persian Gulf on Saturday, as leaders in the Middle East and beyond watched for a retaliatory strike by Iran against Israel.

MSC, a major shipping company, said on Saturday that the MSC Aries, which is registered in Portugal, had been boarded by “Iranian authorities” via helicopter as it passed the Strait of Hormuz.

A Palestinian man inspecting damage on Saturday after Israeli settlers attacked the village of Al Mughayir, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

An Israeli teenager whose disappearance had led to riots by Israeli settlers in the West Bank was found dead on Saturday, the Israeli authorities said, threatening to further inflame tensions in the Israeli-occupied territory.

Dozens of Israelis and Palestinians were wounded during clashes at several locations across the West Bank later on Saturday, the Israeli military said in a statement. Israeli extremists stormed at least two villages in the territory, attempting to burn Palestinian property and clashing with residents, according to Palestinian witnesses.

President Biden and his top aides have made it clear that their disagreement with Israel over the war in the Gaza Strip would not prevent the United States from defending Israel.Al Drago for The New York Times

President Biden told reporters on Friday that he expected Iran to launch an attack on Israel “sooner than later” as a response to Israel’s killing of several top Iranian generals in a bombing in Syria two weeks ago.

"Mr. Biden said he needed to be careful not to reveal classified information being collected by intelligence and military officials as they braced for an attack they believed was imminent. And he had a blunt, succinct answer when he was asked what his message to Iran was.

Israel Says Iran Launched Drones at Its Territory in Retaliatory Strike: Live Updates - The New York Times

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