Israel-Palestine Escalation
Israel was hit by an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on October 7, with Hamas movement's troops infiltrating border areas. On October 8, the Israeli government announced that it had invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law, which means the country was officially in a state of war.
Military personnel in northwestern Iran - Sputnik Africa

Live Updates: Blinken Says US 'Coordinating Diplomatic Response' to Iran’s Strikes on Israel

TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - On Saturday night, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched over 300 drones and missiles at Israel in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory, according to IDF data.
The Israeli government was ready to immediately counterattack Iran, but decided to postpone the operation after a call from US President Joe Biden, Israeli media reported.
The majority of members of the Israeli war cabinet were in favor of not delaying the operation, but the situation was changed both by Biden’s interference and the fact that the damage from the attack was insignificant, the broadcaster reported.
Iran's Saturday attack came in response to Israel's April 1 airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israel intercepted 99 percent of the aerial targets fired by Iran, including all of the drones.
Israel will respond to Iran’s attack, but the scale of its response is not yet determined, the US media reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed Israeli official.
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17:52 15.04.2024
EasyJet Cancels Thousands of Flights From Israel to Europe in April - Reports
UK low-cost airline EasyJet has canceled thousands of flights from Israel to Europe until the end of April following the Iranian attack on the Jewish state, Israeli media reported on Monday.
On Sunday, the company announced on its website pausing flight to and from Tel Aviv but not specifying the timeframe.
In emailed comments obtained by The Times of Israel, EasyJet spokesperson Andy Cockburn said that the company had suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv until April 21 due to the developments in Israel. At the same time, tickets on booking websites at the moment are only available starting from the beginning of May, the Kan broadcaster reported.
The cancellation comes ahead of the Passover holiday, when many Israelis travel abroad for vacation. Affected destinations include the UK, Switzerland, Italy and other European countries, the Kan broadcaster reported.
EasyJet has yet to inform most of its customers about this decision. They are reportedly expected to receive notifications in the coming days.
17:17 15.04.2024
Top Iranian Diplomat Warns Israel of Immediate Response If Escalation Continues
Israel will face an immediate and more large-scale response if it decides to continue escalating tensions with Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Monday.
"If the Israeli regime wants to continue its ventures and the escalation of the situation, the retaliation will be immediate and even more large-scale," Amirabdollahian was quoted by the Iranian Foreign Ministry as saying in a phone conversation with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
Tehran's primary goal is to warn Israel on the potential circumstances of crossing the red lines, he added.
17:16 15.04.2024
Germany's Baerbock Says No 'Retaliation' Under Int'l Law Relevant to Iran-Israel Conflict
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday that international law did not contain the notion of "retaliation" when asked to comment on Iran's recent attack on Israel, adding that the right to self-defense was a different legal concept that enabled a country to fend off an attack.
"The right to self-defense means that you can fend off an attack, retaliation is not a category in international law, this is what I have made very clear last week also vis-a-vis my Iranian counterpart," Baerbock said at a news conference on the sidelines of the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and its Neighbours in Paris.
The German foreign minister also said that now the main task of the global community was the prevention of a possible further escalation in the Middle East.
17:14 15.04.2024
Russian Security Council's Patrushev, Israeli Counterpart Discuss Middle East Tensions
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev on Monday held a phone conversation with Israeli National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi to discuss latest tensions in the Middle East, the Russian Security Council said.
"Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev held phone conversation with Israeli National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi. … Patrushev noted the need for all parties to exercise restraint in order to prevent further escalation of the conflict. It was emphasized that Russia is in favor of settling the differences exclusively by political and diplomatic means," the council said in a statement.
17:09 15.04.2024
Blinken Says US 'Coordinating Diplomatic Response' to Iran’s Strikes on Israel
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that the US has been "coordinating a diplomatic response to seek to prevent escalation" since Iran launched retaliatory strikes on Israel over the weekend.
"In the 36 hours since we have been coordinating a diplomatic response to seek to prevent escalation," Blinken said at a press briefing ahead of a US-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee meeting.
13:18 15.04.2024
EU Foreign Ministers May Discuss Sanctions Against Iran on Tuesday
The EU foreign ministers may discuss sanctions targeting Iran during a virtual meeting on April 16, EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano said on Monday.
"The FAC [Foreign Affairs Council] tomorrow is also intended to discuss issues what would be the next steps by the European Union and its member states to react to this latest escalation by Iran so this is what I can say on the issue of sanctions," Stano told reporters.
Any other sanctions — be it sanctions framework, or additional sanctions enlarging the existing sanctions frameworks, or discussing more sanctions — is a process that is in the hands of the member states, the official said.
11:54 15.04.2024
Russia, Turkey Discussing Iran’s Strike on Israel Via Diplomatic Channels
Russia and Turkey maintain contacts via diplomatic channels to discuss the situation around Iran’s retaliatory strike on the Israeli territory, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Monday.
"Naturally, this situation [in the Middle East] is being discussed through diplomatic channels. Of course, our ambassadors are in touch with all their interlocutors, including on this issue," Grushko told reporters.
11:39 15.04.2024
Kremlin Extremely Concerned About Growing Tensions in Middle East, Calls for Restraint
Moscow is extremely concerned about escalating tensions in the Middle East and calls on all countries to show restraint, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
"We are extremely concerned about the escalation of tensions in the region, and we call on all countries in the region to exercise restraint. Further escalation is in no one's interests. Therefore, of course, we advocate that all disagreements be resolved exclusively by political and diplomatic methods," Peskov told reporters.
11:39 15.04.2024
Scholz Warns Iran Against Another Attack on Israel, Calls to Help De-Escalate Tensions
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned on Monday Iran against another attack on Israel, and called on Israel to help de-escalate tensions.
"Iran's attack on Israel was unprecedented, it was something that should not have happened, it was a terrible escalation. Therefore, I want to repeat my warning once again. There should be no more such actions on the part of Iran," Scholz told a press conference in Shanghai, which was broadcast by NTV.
Israel needs to contribute to the de-escalation efforts, Scholz added.
09:33 15.04.2024
At Least Nine Iranian Missiles Reportedly Hit Two Targeted Israeli Airbases
At least nine Iranian missiles have hit two of Israel's airbases during the recent attack, damaging infrastructure, the US media reported, citing an unnamed senior US official.
Five ballistic missiles struck Israel's Nevatim airbase, damaging a C-130 military transport aircraft, a runway and storage facilities, while four more missiles hit an Israeli airbase in the Negev desert but without any significant damage reported.
09:32 15.04.2024
US Forces Destroy Over 80 Drones, 6 Missiles During Iran's Attack on Israel, Command Says
US forces destroyed more than 80 drones and 6 ballistic missiles launched from Iran and Yemen toward Israel, the US Central Command said on Monday.
"On April 13 and the morning of April 14, US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces, supported by US European Command destroyers, successfully engaged and destroyed more than 80 one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles (OWA UAV) and at least six ballistic missiles intended to strike Israel from Iran and Yemen," the command said on X.
09:32 15.04.2024
Israeli War Cabinet Reportedly Arguing Over Response to Iran’s Attack, No Decisions Yet
An hours-long meeting of Israel's narrow war cabinet ended without a decision on a response to Iran’s massive drone and missile strike on Israel, with ministers arguing over the nature and timing of the response given the limited damage Iran had caused, Israeli broadcaster reported, citing sources.
Some members of the cabinet believe that Israel should follow the tit-for-tat principle and immediately respond to the attack from Tehran, the report said on Sunday, adding that others believe that the Jewish state should wait and prepare carefully to give an effective response.
One of the key points in making the decision is international pressure on Israel, including the position of Washington, which is not interested in further escalation of the already tense situation in the Middle East, the report read.
09:31 15.04.2024
German Foreign Minister Calls for Expanded Sanctions Against Iran After Attack on Israel
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that she would call at the European level for the expansion of sanctions against Iran after its attack on Israel.
"I actively advocate that they [sanctions] be expanded against Iran, because we see how dangerous its actions are," Baerbock told German broadcaster on Sunday.
At the same time, the German Foreign Ministry said that Baerbock had a telephone conversation with her Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, during which she demanded the release of the MSC Aries container ship seized by Iran.
"In another phone call with Iranian FM Amir-Abdollahian today, Baerbock condemned the attack on Israel in the strongest possible terms. She called on Iran to immediately cease all violence against Israel, release the MSC Aries and contribute to de-escalation," the ministry said on X.
09:30 15.04.2024
Arab Officials Reportedly Concerned Israel May Start War With Iran
Arab officials are concerned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may launch a wider military campaign against Iran, NBC News reported.
Two senior Arab officials told the broadcaster that Netanyahu could start the war as a response to Iran’s massive drone and missile attack on Israel, the report said.
09:29 15.04.2024
Israel May Respond to Iranian Attack As Early As Monday, Reports Say
Israel may take retaliatory measures to Iran's massive drone and missile attack on Israel as soon as Monday, the US media reported, citing officials from the United States and other Western countries.
09:29 15.04.2024
Iran Does Not Want War With US, to Respond Proportionately to Any US Attack, Envoy to UN Says
A general view shows a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 15.04.2024
Israel-Palestine Escalation
Iran Does Not Want War With US, to Respond Proportionately to Any US Attack, Envoy to UN Says
09:12 15.04.2024
Israel Reserves Right to Retaliate After Iran’s Attack, Envoy to UN Says
Israel has the legal right to respond to Iran's recent attack on the Jewish state since it "crossed every red line," Israeli Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said.
"This attack crossed every red line and Israel reserves the legal right to retaliate ... Following such a massive and direct attack on Israel, the entire world, let alone Israel, cannot settle for inaction. We will defend our future," Erdan said at the UN Security Council meeting on Sunday.
09:08 15.04.2024
Russia Slams UNSC for Ignoring Attack on Iranian Consulate, Calls for End to Bloodshed
Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya criticized the UN Security Council for failing to act on the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria as he urged an end to bloodshed in the Middle East during an emergency UNSC meeting on Sunday.
"It is regrettable that unlike the meeting today, you did not propose to bring it to brief the Council on the 2nd of April," he said, adding that Russia called an emergency briefing to discuss the Israeli strike against the consular premises in Damascus.
Nebenzya criticized Israel for not complying with the UN Security Council resolutions, which he said was "an obvious disrespect shown to the Council, to all of you who are here in the members seats, and a complete disregard to the decisions made by the Security Council."
"This high level confrontation and bloodshed must be stopped We think it's urgent for the entire international community to undertake all the efforts necessary to de-escalate the situation," Nebenzya said.