Iranian missiles, drones attack Israel; sirens in Jerusalem and cities in the Negev, Galilee, West Bank

US concerned Israeli response to attack could be rash; Israeli officials says Israel to coordinate with Americans; UN security Council to meet after request from Israel envoy

Iranian attack on Israel, air defenses intercept incoming drones, missiles
(צילום: גדי קבלו, איה חיות)

Biden condemns Iranian attack in strongest possible terms. "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 a statement late Saturday. "Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles." The president said he will convene G7 leaders to coordinate a united diplomatic response.
Biden Netanyahu speak as Israel considers its reaction to the attack from Iran that included hundreds of missiles and drones launched at Israel.
According to a report on CNN, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin asked his Israeli counterpart to brief Washington in advance on any retaliation it may launch on Iran.
NBC News reported that the administration is worried about a rash Israeli response to the attack after the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to inform the U.S. of plans to target a senior member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Crop's in Damascus earlier in the month. Sources told the network that Biden voiced his concern that Netanyahu was trying to drag the U.S. into a larger conflict.
In response, an Israeli official told the New York Times that any action would be coordinated with Israel's allies.
Iran said on Sunday it will not hesitate to take further "defensive measures" to protect its interests against any military aggression, the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.
"if necessary, will not hesitate to take further defensive measures to safeguard its legitimate interests against any military aggressions and unlawful use of force," it said, according to state TV, "while reaffirming its commitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law." The Foreign Ministry said in a letter to embassies around the world to relay the message that this was an unprecedented attack on Israel from Iran. "We regard this gravely and cannot accept it," the ministry said and instructed the envoys to urgently contact senior members of their host governments, security officials and law makers to express Israel's position.
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בנימין נתניהו
בנימין נתניהו
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone with U.S. President Joe Biden
"Iran must pay the price," the ministry wrote. "The fact that Iran commanded and synchronized the attack with its proxies who also launched drones and missiles, is proof beyond doubt that Tehran directs the forces of terror in the Middle East, is behand efforts to destabilize the region and is the source of the problem in the area.
Sirens heard in Israel's north in the Negev Desert cities, Jerusalem and its surrounding, and parts of the northern West Bank as Iranian drones, missiles reach Israel. Magen David Adom says they have a report of one injury in a Bedouin town in the Negev.
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תושבי דימונה בממ"ד
תושבי דימונה בממ"ד
Residents of Dimona in a bomb shelter as Iranian drones, missiles target Israel
Iran began its planned attack on Israel late on Saturday with hundreds of drones and cruise missiles launched from Iran. The attack comes after the killing of a senior member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in a strike on Damascus that was attributed to Israel.
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נתניהו וחמינאי
נתניהו וחמינאי
Ali Khamenei, An Iranian drone, Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: AFP, Alex Kolomoisky, AP)
Sirens sounded in Be'er Sheva, Dimona, Arad and Ofakim in the Negev and in Jerusalem.
Residents in the northern Golan Heights, The Negev Desert near the city of Dimona and in the city of Eilat are instructed to remain close to their shelters.
Israeli officials said 99% of the "Iranian response" were intercepted. "The fact that Iran for the first time attacks Israel from its territory requires a decisive response and one will come soon," the officials said.
A Senior U.S. official told ABC News that there were 400 to 500 drones in the first wave of the Iranian strike.
Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani warned that Tehran will firmly respond to any country that "opens its airspace or territory for attacks on Iran by Israel", Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.
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יירוטים באשקלון
יירוטים באשקלון
Intercept of Iranian drone, missile attack over Ashkelon
(Photo: Amir Cohen / Reuters)
Al Arabiya is reporting that some of the UAVs and missiles were shot down by U.S. military.
The IDF spokesperson confirmed cruise missiles and hundreds of drones were launched and said they would need between 2 to 5 hours to reach their target and a second wave is seen as possible.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Saturday he condemned Iran's "reckless" attack against Israel, which he said showed that it was "intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard".
"These strikes risk inflaming tensions and destabilizing the region. Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard," Sunak said in a statement. "The UK will continue to stand up for Israel's security and that of all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq."
Jordan's air defenses were ready to intercept and shoot down any Iranian drones or aircraft that violate its airspace, two regional security sources said. They said the army was also in a state of high alert and radar systems were monitoring drone activity.
Iranian television quoted the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) saying the attack which they have named "The Real Promise," has began. Earlier Supreme Leader Ali Khamene posted his speech threatening Israel on his account on X, under the banner "The Evil regime will be punished."
Reuters quoted two security sources in Iraq who said dozens of drones had been spotted flying from Iran toward Israel over Iraqi airspace in what Iranian Press TV called "extensive drone strikes" by the Revolutionary Guards.
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כטב"מים נצפו בשמי עיראק
כטב"מים נצפו בשמי עיראק
Drones launched in Iran seen over Iraq
"Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel that is likely to unfold over a number of hours, the White House said on Saturday.
President Joe Biden is being regularly updated by his national security team and is in constant communication with Israeli officials as well as U.S. partners and allies, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said if the threat from Iran enters Israeli space sirens will sound in the relevant areas. He urged the public to remain in shelters for at least 10 minutes unless instructed to remain there longer.
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 הצהרה לתקשורת של דניאל הגרי דובר צה"ל מהקריה בתל אביב
 הצהרה לתקשורת של דניאל הגרי דובר צה"ל מהקריה בתל אביב
IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari
(Photo: IDF)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a televised address said Israel will respond to any attack.
"Israel is prepared for any possible direct attack from Iran. Air defenses are deployed and we are ready for any scenario," Netanyahu said. "We appreciate the United States standing by us and the support of the UK France and many other countries. We will harm anyone that harms us. We will protect ourselves against any threat and will do so with calm and determination. I call on all Israelis to adhere to instructions from the Home Front Command."
The military spokesperson also said the IDF is prepared for any eventuality and is in coordination with the U.S. forces.
The full cabinet was instructed to convene at the military HQ in Tel Aviv and will meet underground. Israeli officials say the targets of Iran would likely be military and not civilian targets.
U.S. President Joe Biden returned to the White House to meet with his top security advisors. Earlier National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Israel's Security Council chief Tzachi Hanegbi and repeated the U.S. commitment to Israel's security.
Jordan announced it was closing its airspace as of Saturday night for at least one day.
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