We will do whatever is necessary to protect Israel, IDF says

April 15, 2024
 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said Tel Aviv must do everything necessary to protect the state.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said Tel Aviv must do everything necessary to protect the state.

TEL AVIV — Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said Tel Aviv must do everything necessary to protect the state "at the time and in the way we in Israel choose to do so".

Hagari said the Iranian attack was "thwarted with the iron defense campaign," adding that it counted on an "unprecedented coalition" from the UK, US, France and other countries, which "not only thwarted but truly prevented that attack".

At least nine countries were involved in the military escalation — with projectiles fired from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and downed by Israel, the US, the UK and Jordan.

Some 99% of the incoming barrage was intercepted either outside Israeli airspace or over the country itself, Hagari had previously said.

Speaking to reporters from the Nevatim Airbase, Herzi Halevi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said Iran's attacks over the weekend "will be met with a response".

His remarks come after Israel's war Cabinet met to consider its response to Tehran firing more than 300 projectiles towards Israel.

Halevi said Israel is looking ahead and considering its next steps.

"This launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles, and UAVs into the territory of the State of Israel will be met with a response," he added.

In Washington, President Joe Biden said that the US is "committed to Israel's security", adding that he wants to prevent the conflict in the Middle East from escalating.

"Iran launched an unprecedented aerial attack against Israel, and we launched an unprecedented military effort to defend it. Together with our partners, we defended that attack," Biden said as he met Iraq's visiting prime minister.

"The United States is committed to Israel's security. We're committed to a ceasefire that will bring the hostages home and prevent the conflict from spreading beyond what it already has," he said.

Meanwhile, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that Israel has moved in a "significant way" but Hamas is "the barrier to a deal" that would see fighting in Gaza paused and hostages released.

Hamas earlier rejected another proposal for a deal and has asked for an end to the war in Gaza and withdrawal of all Israeli forces.

Miller added that the US was still pursuing a deal that would allow for a ceasefire lasting at least six weeks and allow more aid into Gaza.

Meanwhile, US national security council spokesman John Kirby has said that Iran did not issue warnings to the White House about its timeframe for launching an attack on Israel.

Briefing reporters in Washington, Kirby says the US did exchange messages with Iran, but insists there were no messages regarding Iran's timeframe or targets for the attack.

Kirby said Iran's intent was to cause "significant destruction" and casualties.

Tehran's action, in retaliation to Israel's strike on its consulate in Syria, has been strongly condemned by Israel's allies worldwide.

Addressing Parliament this afternoon, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on "all sides" to "show restraint" after Iran's attack on Israel on Saturday

The PM said he would speak to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to express solidarity and discuss how to prevent "further escalation"

Sunak told MPs Iran had sought to "plunge the Middle East into crisis", adding that Tehran's attack on Israel was "a reckless and dangerous escalation"

His remarks echo the overwhelming reaction from Israel's foreign partners, who say any escalation to the ongoing conflict in the region should be avoided.

Belgium, France and Germany are among several countries who have summoned Iranian ambassadors, adding to the mounting international pressure on Tehran.

Tensions between Israel and Iran have been high for some time, with the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen firing drones and missiles towards Israel in response to the war in Gaza, and the Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon firing rockets towards Israel from the north. — BBC

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