Published: 09:34, April 14, 2024 | Updated: 18:02, April 14, 2024
Iran's UN mission says attack on Israel ‘can be deemed concluded’
By Xinhua
This photo taken on April 14, 2024 shows flares from explosions in the sky over Jerusalem as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts missiles and drones from Iran. A combined attack of dozens of ballistic missiles and hundreds of drones from Iran triggered air raid alerts across Israel early on Sunday, the Israeli army said, as residents reported multiple bombings were heard. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

JERUSALEM / UNITED NATIONS / BEIRUT / ADEN / NEW DELHI - Iran's mission to the United Nations said Saturday that the attack on Israel "can be deemed concluded."

"Conducted on the strength of Article 51 of the UN Charter pertaining to legitimate defense, Iran's military action was in response to the Zionist regime's aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. The matter can be deemed concluded," the mission said on social media X.

"However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran's response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the US MUST STAY AWAY!" the mission added.

A combined attack of dozens of ballistic missiles and hundreds of drones from Iran triggered air raid alerts across Israel early on Sunday, the Israeli army said, as residents reported multiple bombings were heard.

The projectiles triggered sirens in Jerusalem, the Negev Desert and the Dead Sea in the south, the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights in the north as well as the occupied West Bank.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari confirmed during a press briefing that Israel was under attack by ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles from Iran, noting that aerial defense systems have intercepted some of the missiles.

Israel has been on heightened alert over the past few days following Iranian threats to avenge the killing of seven Iranian officers in its consular building in Damascus, Syria, earlier in April, which was carried out by Israel, according to Iran

Israel's state-owned Kan TV news reported that about 100 drones, out of about 400-500 that have been launched, were intercepted before reaching Israel by allied countries, including the American, Jordanian and British forces.

Israel's Maged David Adom rescue service said in a statement that a 10-year-old boy from a Beduin village in the Negev was seriously injured. A projectile or parts of a projectile fell near Umm Al Fahm, an Arab city in northern Israel, causing no injuries.

Israel is planning to launch a "significant response" to the Iranian aerial attack, Israel's state-owned Kan TV news reported early on Sunday, citing an anonymous senior Israeli official.

"The fact that Iran fires for the first time from its territory at Israel requires a significant response. It will come soon," the official said.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) confirmed in a broadcast statement Saturday night that it had launched missile and drone attacks on Israel.

Israel's state-owned Kan TV news reported that the drones were launched from Iran as well as from other countries allied with Iran.

Demonstrators wave Iran's flag and Palestinian flags as they gather in front of the British Embassy in Tehran on April 14, 2024, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel. (PHOTO / AFP)

Israel has been on heightened alert over the past few days following Iranian threats to avenge the killing of seven Iranian officers in its consular building in Damascus, Syria, earlier in April, which was carried out by Israel, according to Iran.

'Biden against counterattack'

US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a call on Saturday that the United States will oppose any Israeli counterattack against Iran, US news portal Axios reported, citing a senior White House official.

"You got a win. Take the win," Biden told Netanyahu, thanking Israel, the United States, and other countries for their joint efforts, which failed Iran's attacks, according to the official.

The official was quoted as saying that when Biden told Netanyahu that the United States would not participate in any offensive operations against Iran and would not support such operations, Netanyahu said he understood.

In a statement following his call with Netanyahu, Biden said that he will convene leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries on Sunday to coordinate a "united diplomatic response" to Iran's attack against Israel.

Biden said that he reaffirmed "America's ironclad commitment to the security of Israel" while on the phone with Netanyahu.

Also on Saturday night, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke for the second time with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, during which the Pentagon chief reiterated Washington's "ironclad" support for Israel's defense, Pentagon press secretary Pat Ryder said in a statement.

Austin told Gallant that the United States would ask Israel to notify Washington ahead of any response against Iran, reported Axios, citing a senior Israeli official.

UN Security Council meeting

The United Nations Security Council is set to meet Sunday in response to a request from Israel, UN said Saturday.

Israel has called on the council to condemn Iran's attack against Israel on Saturday and to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, the sources noted.

The meeting is scheduled for 4 pm local time (2000 GMT), as announced by the UN Department of Global Communications late Saturday night.

Gilad Erdan, Israel's permanent representative to the United Nations, formally requested this emergency session in a letter to the president of the council on Saturday.

Denis Francis, president of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, expressed significant concern about the recent developments in the Middle East, including Iran's launch of drones and missiles against Israel.

"I strongly call upon all parties to exercise the utmost restraint to avoid further escalation of tension in the region. This is a moment that calls for wise and prudent judgement, in which the risks and extended risks are very carefully considered," the UNGA president said.

India

India on Sunday expressed serious concern over the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, calling for de-escalation and restraint.

New Delhi's voicing of concern came hours after Iran launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel in a retaliatory attack.

"We are seriously concerned over the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran which threatens the peace and security in the region," India's foreign ministry said in a statement. "We call for immediate de-escalation, exercise of restraint, stepping back from violence and return to the path of diplomacy."

Hezbollah

Meanwhile, Hezbollah announced early Sunday that its fighters targeted the Israeli Kela barracks with dozens of Katyusha rockets in the occupied Syrian Golan.

Hezbollah said in a statement that it launched its attack in response to the Israeli enemy's attacks on safe villages and towns in southern Lebanon.

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel, April 14, 2024. (PHOTO /AP)

Israeli warplanes on Saturday night continued their airstrikes in multiple areas in southern Lebanon, paralleled with violent artillery shelling targeting many towns and villages, Lebanese military sources told Xinhua.

The military sources, who spoke anonymously, said that Israeli warplanes carried out five raids in southeast Lebanon.

Eyewitnesses from border villages confirmed to Xinhua, "Dozens of powerful explosions reverberated in most of the border areas, and several drones flew at low to medium altitudes in the airspace of southern Lebanon."

Moreover, Israeli artillery fired approximately 80 shells toward more than 21 towns and villages in the eastern, central, and western sectors of the border area in southern Lebanon.

The military sources reported that they also monitored the crossing of several drones from Lebanon to Israel, most of which were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome.

Yemen's Houthis

Yemen's Houthi group launched drone attacks against targets in Israel on Saturday, a military source in Yemen's internationally recognized government told Xinhua on Sunday.

The source, requesting anonymity, said the drones were launched from the Houthi-held territory along Yemen's western coast.

The British maritime security agency Ambrey also confirmed reports of drone activity from Yemen toward Israeli territory.

The source suggested that the Houthi drone attacks were part of a coordinated Iranian campaign against Israel. The Houthis have yet to comment on the attacks.