Iran says 'changed the equation' while Israel refrains from responding to overnight attack

Officials in Jerusalem are refraining from rashly retaliating against Tehran while the Iranian Parliament celebrates the unprecedented assault

Israel had yet to comment on its retaliation to Iran’s attack that included hundreds of drones and missiles overnight between Saturday and Sunday, but Tehran is celebrating its response to the strike in Damascus that killed several of its senior officers and which it blamed on Israel, saying: “We’ve changed the equation.”
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חגיגות בטהרן בעקבות המתקפה האיראנית
חגיגות בטהרן בעקבות המתקפה האיראנית
Celebrations in Tehran following attack
“Should Israel respond to the attack – our retaliation would be stronger than this operation,” Iranian military Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri said on Sunday. Netanyahu himself responded with a four-word Hebrew message on his X (formerly Twitter) account, which translates to: "We intercepted, we repelled, together we shall win."
IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a statement on Sunday that "99% of the threats that were launched were intercepted."
Hagari revealed that a number of ballistic missiles exploded in the area of the Nevatim Air Force base in southern Israel. "The missiles caused minor damage only; the base is operational. Iran thought it would paralyze the base and thus harm our aerial capabilities, but it failed," he said.
"This is a very significant strategic achievement," Hagari added. "None of the 170 drones launched by Iran entered Israeli territory. Dozens of them were intercepted by Air Force fighter jets and Israeli and foreign air defense systems. None of the 30 cruise missiles Iran launched entered Israeli territory. Some 25 of them were intercepted by Air Force fighter jets outside the country's borders."
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חגיגות בטהרן בעקבות המתקפה האיראנית
חגיגות בטהרן בעקבות המתקפה האיראנית
Celebrations in Iran
"The incident isn’t over; we’re prepared for further threats," Hagari said, noting there were no changes made to IDF Home Front Command guidelines "Restrictions are still in place and educational activities, youth camps and trips are prohibited. We’ll update the public on any future changes.”
The Foreign Ministry also issued a statement on its social media pages following the attack. “These were a long night and day but one thing is clear. We’re strong, fit, and will never surrender to terror. Those who harm the Israeli people will pay the price," the statement said.
Israel’s Public Diplomacy Directorate also issued a statement. “Iran has declared and taken action in order to eliminate the State of Israel. No country in the world would’ve tolerated repeated threats made to its existence. The international community must act now In order to hold Iran back and prevent it from employing terror and threatening Israel and the region,” the statement said.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said after a situational assessment on Sunday, "The IDF has impressively foiled the attack. Together with our American and other partners, we managed to limit damage to Israeli territory to a minimal degree, a most impressive achievement accomplished by the IDF with distinction."
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יואב גלנט ובנימין נתניהו
יואב גלנט ובנימין נתניהו
Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant
(Photo: Dana Kopel)
"The whole world saw who Iran is tonight - a terrorist state that attacks Israel from a distance of 1,500 km away and tries to activate all of its proxies. But the world also saw the power of a coalition and how Israel, together with the United States and other countries, stands and blocks this attack in an unprecedented manner," according to Gallant.
"The operation isn’t over yet; we need to be vigilant and attentive to the IDF's instructions and Home Front Command directives and be prepared for any scenario, but at the same time - we intercepted the most significant threats, and did so very successfully,” he added.
In Iran, members of parliament were documented cheering and celebrating the attack. Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf gave a statement in the assembly, saying: “The Iranian people have landed an unprecedented attack on the enemy. It is a response to Zionist crimes and is in line with UN conventions.”
The Iranian Chief of Staff also warned: "Our targets were military bases alone. If the U.S. cooperates with Israel in future steps, its bases won’t be safe."
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נשיא איראן אברהים ראיסי
נשיא איראן אברהים ראיסי
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi
"The operation included an attack on a military intelligence base in the Hermon Mount, which was involved in the attack on our consulate. The Nevatim base was also struck,” he added. According to the IDF, minor damages were caused at the base “after several rockets landed inside. The base is operational.”
"We’ve changed the equation against Israel, and will now attack from Iranian soil against any Israeli aggression,” Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG) commander-in-chief Hossein Salami said. "Our missiles and drones managed to penetrate Israel's air defense systems. Our operation was precise, and the missiles hit their targets accurately. We could have carried out a broader operation, but we set specific targets.”
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said following the attack: "Our forces’ defensive actions are a natural right in defending our country in response to the Israeli attack on our interests. They conveyed our strength and power to the Islamic world and a message of fear to the enemies of humanity."
Early on Sunday, at the height of the attack, Iran's IRCG said that "any threat from the U.S. and the Zionist regime (Israel) will be met with an Iranian response." Tehran also warned the U.S. against "showing support for Israel or being involved in harming Iranian interests."
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