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Israel vows to respond to Iran attack, weighs next steps during 'significant 24-hour period'

The U.N. Security Council met Sunday to discuss and respond to Iran’s attack, which the U.S. and others have condemned.

What we know

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Please check here for the latest updates.

Blinken spoke with Middle Eastern leaders today about Iran's attack on Israel

Abigail Williams

Abigail Williams and Rebecca Cohen

Blinken spoke with leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan today about Iran's overnight attack on Israel, spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

In his conversation with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Blinken reiterated that the U.S. will continue to support Israel but does not want escalation in the region. The pair agreed that a coordinated diplomatic response is crucial.

Blinken and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also agreed on wanting to avoid escalation and on the importance of a coordinated diplomatic response, as well as the need to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza, to protect Palestinians and achieve a cease-fire deal that also releases the remaining hostages.

Blinken and Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and expatriates, discussed similar topics, agreeing that escalation should be avoided and on the need to end the crisis in Gaza, leading to a solution that "provides lasting peace" for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Blinken thanked Jordan for leading the way on getting humanitarian assistance into Gaza, including through joint efforts with the U.S. to airdrop deliveries over the enclave.

Hostage families remain focused on securing freedom for remaining 133 hostages

Hagar Brodutch, who was kidnapped by Hamas along with her three children, endured another terrifying night yesterday during the Iranian missile attack.

This morning, she said she is hoping for a swift end to war.

“We had a horrible evening and night. I just wish the war would be over already. We can’t stand it anymore,” Brodutch said via WhatsApp.

She and her children were kidnapped from kibbutz Kfar Aza on Oct. 7 and held captive for 51 days in Gaza.

While in captivity, Brodutch also cared for 4-year-old American Abigail Eden, whose parents were killed by Hamas. Brodutch and Abigail were freed in a prisoner exchange on Nov. 26. More than 100 people still remain in captivity.

Daniel Aloni, a former hostage who was freed with her 5-year-old daughter, Emilia, on Nov. 24 said she worries the rising tensions with Iran could divert attention from the hostages in Gaza. 

“I don’t know how Israel will choose to respond to the massive attack carried out yesterday by Iran,” Aloni said. “However, I hope we do not get dragged into an escalation in the region, as a regional war would divert attention from the 133 hostages still held by Hamas under dire conditions, injured or ill, in Gaza." 

The Hostage Family Forum, a group that represents the families of hostages, said in a statement today that amid the stress and anxiety of last night’s attack, the focus should still be on the remaining hostages who have been held for more than 190 days. 

“The fears and emotions we all felt pale in comparison to the terror, dread, despair, loneliness, cold, physical and mental torment the 133 hostages held by Hamas have endured for 190 days and nights,” the forum said in the statement. “We reiterate our calls for the international community to do everything possible to secure the release of all 133 hostages before more innocent lives are tragically lost.”

Israel to lift restriction on educational activities tomorrow

Israel said it will resume educational activities throughout the country tomorrow, reversing restrictions that were placed last night ahead of Iran's attack on the country.

Iran doubles down on right to self-defense in U.N. Security Council address

Iran has a right to defend itself after Israel’s attack on a consular building in Syria this month. That was the clear and stern message delivered to the U.N. Security Council today by Amir Saeid Iravani, the representative of Iran. 

“It was entirely in the exercise of Iran’s inherent right to defend itself,” Iravani said of yesterday's aerial attack against Israel. “These actions were necessary and proportionate.”

Iravani said Iran acted in accordance with international law following the April 1 attack, first by engaging the Security Council on April 2 and then by not targeting civilians in its aerial offensive yesterday. 

He denied allegations that Iran has proxies in the region and said it does not seek escalation or war. 

Israel, on the other hand, has shirked its global responsibility by attempting to "use lies, manipulate the narrative and engage in a destructive blame game,” he said.

“They ignored the underlying root cause of the situation in the region,” he went on, referring to the deaths of more than 33,000 people in Gaza since Oct. 7.

Iravani also chided the U.S. and its allies for shielding Israel “from any responsibility for the Gaza massacre.” He said the Security Council has failed to enforce international law and has allowed Israel to continue attacks on civilian targets. It must take “urgent and punitive measures to stop genocide against people of Gaza," he said.

Israel says world 'cannot settle on inaction' at U.N. meeting

Israel's representative to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, said at today's meeting that Iran's attack "crossed every red line."

He emphasized that Israel "reserves the legal right to retaliate."

"We are not a frog in boiling water," he said. "We are a nation of lions. 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 also called on the council to take action, describing Iran as "the world's worst human rights violator."

"Action must be taken now, not for Israel's sake, not for the region's sake," he said. "But for the world's sake."

Western hypocrisy ‘almost embarrassing to watch,’ Russia says at the U.N.

The Russian diplomatic envoy to the United Nations criticized a double standard at the Security Council as states condemn Iran for its attack on Israel but did nothing when Russia asked to meet after the April 1 strike in Syria.

Vasily Alekseyevich Nebenzya told fellow member states that they were witnessing "a display of hypocrisy and double standards, which it's almost embarrassing to watch." He described an attack against a diplomatic representation as a "casus belli," or act of war, under international law.

"And if Western representation had been hit, you would immediately have rained down reprisals and would argued that you were right about this in this very chamber," Nebenzya said. "And this is because for you everything that has to do with Western representations of Western systems is sacred and needs to be protected."

He called on all parties to exercise restraint, noting that Iran has indicated it considers the matter concluded and saying others should follow suit.

France and U.K. condemn attacks on Israel, blame Iran for destabilization

Both representatives for France and the United Kingdom laid blame on Iran's region for destabilizing the region, condemning Tehran's barrage of rockets against Israel.

"The scale and nature of Iran's heinous assault, the first direct attack from Iran on Israel soil, poses grave risks to the security and stability of citizens across the Middle East," U.K. Ambassador Barbara Woodward said.

Woodward said that it was imperative for all parties to "exercise maximum restraint" and that the U.K. welcomed actions to deter Iran. France's representative, Nathalie Broadhurst, reiterated the country's condemnation of Iran.

"In deciding to undertake such an unprecedented act, Iran crossed a new threshold in its destabilizing action and is risking a military escalation for which it would be responsible," Broadhurst said. "We call upon Iran and its allies to at long last, and without further delay, see their destabilizing activities throughout the region."

Neither country addressed the April 1 attack on the Iranian diplomatic premises in Damascus.

Aiding Israel, Ukraine is 'vital' for the West, Sen. Schumer says

Top congressional leaders appear united in providing unfettered funding to Israel and Ukraine through a national security spending package that could come up for a vote this week. 

Biden spoke with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York in a phone call today. Speaking to reporters after the call, Schumer said the U.S. needs to remain “ironclad” in its commitment to Israel. 

“We need to help Israel,” he said, adding that the country spent over $1 billion defending itself against an attack by Iran.

Echoing Johnson’s comments earlier, Schumer touted the bill as the best way to continue aiding Israel and Ukraine against outside threats.

“There was a consensus on the phone among all the leaders that we had to help Israel and help Ukraine, and now hopefully we can work that out and get this done next week,” he said. “It’s vital for the future of Ukraine, for Israel and the West.”

The countries speaking at today's U.N. meeting

Abigail Williams

Abigail Williams and Saba Hamedy

We've already heard from the secretary-general and council members from:

  • Guyana
  • Sierra Leone
  • Slovenia
  • The U.S.
  • Algeria
  • Japan
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Ecuador
  • Mozambique
  • South Korea

Other speakers who remain include council members from:

  • Switzerland
  • Russia
  • China
  • Malta

Representatives from Israel, Iran and Syria will also address the group.

Security Council is obligated to hold Iran accountable, U.S. says

U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood urged the Security Council to "unequivocally condemn Iran's aggressive actions" and vowed to pursue additional measures to hold Iran accountable at the body.

"The Security Council has an obligation to not let Iran's actions go unanswered," Wood said.

Iran is "broadly" complicit in the Oct. 7 attack with its support of Hamas, Wood said, and the country's regime has "flagrantly" violated international law by arming proxy militias. Wood told the council that the U.S. aims to de-escalate the situation but that Iran's actions cannot go unanswered.

"This Iranian support contributed to the current crisis in Gaza. Colleagues, these and other reckless Iranian actions are not inherently defensive actions against other member states," Wood said. "Given the threats Iran’s aggressive actions pose for international peace and security, we have a collective responsibility as members of the Security Council to ensure that Iran complies with the council’s resolutions and ceases its violations of the charter."

'Neither the region nor the world can afford more war,' U.N. chief says

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres opened today's Security Council meeting by urging de-escalation for the sake of global stability.

"We have a shared responsibility to work for peace — regional and indeed global security are being undermined by the hour. Neither the region nor the world can afford more war," Guterres said.

He criticized both Iran's attack on Israel and the attack on the Iranian Consulate compound in Damascus, Syria, this month. He reminded all parties that they have a shared responsibility to promote peace, facilitate the return of hostages still in Gaza and establish a humanitarian cease-fire.

"It’s time to step back from the brink," Guterres said. "It’s vital to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations in multiple fronts in the Middle East. Civilians are already bearing the brunt and paying the highest price."

Israeli air force intercepted dozens of aerial threats from Iran

Israeli defenses thwarted dozens of unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles and other aerial threats Iran launched last night, IDF officials said in a statement on Telegram. 

Only a few missiles made it into Israel. Nevatim Airbase, one of the largest air bases in Israel, and a road in the Hermon area, three hours away, suffered damage. Operations at the air base were not affected, according to the statement.

Biden tells Netanyahu Israel shouldn't retaliate against Iran

NBC News

Watch MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Alex Witt discuss the latest on Israel’s assessment of Iran’s attack and what can be expected from the two countries.

Jordan’s foreign minister accuses Netanyahu of dragging West into regional war

Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Safadi warned the only way to reduce escalation in the region is to stop the war in Gaza, blaming recent spiraling regional relations on Netanyahu.

"We had warned that Netanyahu would try to create a confrontation with Iran to drag the United States and the West into a regional war so the focus would shift towards Iran and the world would forget Gaza," he told Al-Mamlaka news.

Safadi added that the challenge following Iran's retaliation yesterday is how to end the aggression so the world can refocus on Gaza. He said the ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador to speak about the regime's criticism of Jordan's positions.

"We do not want an escalation with Iran, and we want good relations with it based on the principle of noninterference in internal affairs and respect for others," Safadi said. "Jordan is capable of protecting its interests. Iran’s problem is with Israel, not with Jordan."

Jordan, which hosts more than 2 million Palestinian refugees, has done more for the Palestinians than anyone else, including Iran, Safadi said.

Israeli fighter jets strike Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, IDF says

Israeli fighter jets struck numerous Hezbollah targets in Lebanon today in the towns of Kfarkela, Maroun al-Ras, Aita al-Shaab, Souaneh and Markaba, the military said in a statement.

The IDF said it targeted Hezbollah "military compounds and terrorist infrastructure" in some places and "threats" in others.

A Lebanese state news report said two missiles hit a home in Maroun al-Ras. It also said the area of Aita al-Shaab that was under artillery shelling was a residential neighborhood.

IDF spokesman: Israel weighing next steps during 'significant 24-hour period'

Israel is in a very "significant 24-hour period" and appears to be carefully weighing its next steps in response to Iran's attack, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said today.

Operational plans have been approved for both offensive and defensive actions, but Hagari declined to provide further details. Operations will continue in Gaza, and additional reserves will be called to join the fighting, he said.

Israel, along with an international coalition that includes the U.S., the U.K. and France, thwarted 350 exploding drones, rockets and cruise and ballistic missiles yesterday, he said.

"Iran, since the beginning of the war, wants only one thing — to escalate the region," Hagari said in English. "Until now, she worked through her proxies, but she has now revealed herself."

As Israel plans its response, he said, rescuing the 133 hostages being held captive by Hamas remains a top priority.

"We will not miss any opportunity to bring them back home," Hagari said. "This is our responsibility."

No final decisions made on how Israel will respond, official says

Raf Sanchez

TEL AVIV — Israel will respond to Iran’s attack but no final decisions have been made on the size or timing of the response, an Israeli official told NBC News.

“It is clear Israel will respond, the question is when and at what scale,” the official said after an hours-long war cabinet meeting.

The IDF has been asked to present additional options to decision makers. The official said that among the considerations were whether Israel needed to retaliate immediately or could afford to wait, and what impact any escalation against Iran would have on Israeli operations in Gaza.

Israel will respond to Iran's attack, according to government official

An Israeli government official in the prime minister’s office said no decision was made on exactly what Israel will do but that “the IDF will need to present options” and that “it is clear that Israel will respond.”

A second Israeli aide to another member of the war Cabinet said, “No one wants to see an escalation,” and that “it’s a very delicate time right now.”

Palestinians in Gaza react to Iranian attacks on Israel

NBC News

After months of heavy bombardment, Gazans said they were able to get a few hours of reprieve from strikes as Israel fended off attacks from Iran.

“Any act that results in getting the Israeli occupation busy from Gaza is good for Gaza,” one man told an NBC News crew in Rafah.

Los Angeles law enforcement agencies on high alert

Police and sheriff's departments in Los Angeles said yesterday that they are on high alert following Iran's attack on Israel.

"While there are no credible threats to Los Angeles at this time, we are committed to ensuring safeguards to houses of worship and sensitive areas throughout all communities in Los Angeles," the Los Angeles Police Department wrote in a post on X.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said his department is increasing patrol checks around "sensitive and religious sites" in the area.

Some 400,000 people with Iranian heritage live in the United States, and about a third of them, or 138,000, live in Los Angeles, according to a 2023 study published by UCLA. An estimated 565,000 Jewish residents live in L.A., according to a 2021 study published by the Brandies University Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies.

Iranian launches shot down by Jordan, U.S. and U.K. as well as Israeli military

While Israel's Iron Dome defense system was active in keeping the barrage of Iranian drones and missiles at bay, the country was assisted by allies and a neighboring state.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed this morning that the United Kingdom participated in a coordinated effort to fend off the attack. The Royal Air Force sent additional planes to the region already as part of its own missions in Iraq, Sunak said.

"I can confirm that our planes did shoot down a number of Iranian attack drones," Sunak said today. "And I want to pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism of our pilots flying into the face of danger to protect civilians."

President Joe Biden also noted in his statement last night that he directed U.S. forces to combat the attack. The Jordanian government said today that it also struck down a number of incoming threats, according to The New York Times.

Jordan described its motivations as acting in the country's own defense, not on behalf of Israel, as the drones and missiles entered Jordan's airspace. Jordanian citizens have been largely critical of Israel's actions in Gaza, with large pro-Palestinian demonstrations taking place in Amman over the last few months.

Biden and G7 allies condemn Iran's retaliatory attack

The White House posted a photo on X today of President Joe Biden's video conference with G7 leaders this morning, saying leaders "condemned Iran's unprecedented attack against Israel."

The G7 leaders issued a statement later reiterating their "full solidarity and support to Israel and its people."

"With its actions, Iran has further stepped toward the destabilization of the region and risks provoking an uncontrollable regional escalation," the leaders said in their joint statement. "This must be avoided. We will continue to work to stabilize the situation and avoid further escalation. In this spirit, we demand that Iran and its proxies cease their attacks, and we stand ready to take further measures now and in response to further destabilizing initiatives.

The leaders said they will also "strengthen" their "cooperation to end the crisis in Gaza, including by continuing to work towards an immediate and sustainable ceasefire and the release of hostages by Hamas, and deliver increased humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in need."

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron condemns attack

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he condemned Iran's attack on Israel in a call with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

"I made clear that Iran must stop these reckless attacks, de-escalate and release the MSC Aries," Cameron wrote in a post on X.

On Saturday, Cameron, the former British prime minister, called the attack "reckless," saying it will only "inflame" tensions in the region.

House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner: 'This is an escalating conflict'

U.S. House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Turner
U.S. House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Turner at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 15.Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images file

The Biden administration is failing to draw a firm line with Iran and recognize it as a “malicious force” in the region, House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said on “Meet the Press.”

“I think the administration needs to take seriously that this attack has happened. It’s unprecedented and certainly it needs to be viewed as an escalation,” he said. “This is an escalating conflict.”

Turner said the U.S. must make it clear to Iran that it is prepared to defend Israel in a broader conflict but should not engage in direct military action.

“This administration is failing to say there is a red line," he said. "There should be a red line.”

To firm up that red line, the White House must put more pressure on Qatar and Egypt, which have acted as intermediaries with Israel since October, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said on CNN.

“It’s time for us to make it clear that Hamas does not have a future in the region and that the United States intends to be forcefully engaged on both sides to get them to the table, to get this resolved, and to get these hostages released,” he said. “I think that’s been happening privately, but I think it’s also helpful for it to be clear publicly that it’s not acceptable for Hamas to continue day after day the torture of hostages and their families.”

Meanwhile Israel should pause to assess damage from Iranian missiles and consult with close allies and partners before deciding on next steps, Coons added.

Hezbollah praises Iran for attack, says Islamic Republic exercised its 'legal right'

Lebanon's Hezbollah, an Iran-backed political party and militia, congratulated leaders in Iran for its strike on Israel, calling it a "brave and wise" response to the attack on the consulate in Syria.

A statement from Hezbollah went on to describe the attack as an exercise of the Islamic Republic's "natural and legal right." Hezbollah went on to say that the political objectives will emerge over time.

"The operation achieved its precisely defined military objectives — despite the participation of the United States, its international allies, and its regional tools in responding to the stunning attack," the statement said.

Hezbollah has been attacking Israel by firing over the shared Lebanon and Israel border since Oct. 8, a day after the Hamas-led attack on the country. While the militia has its own interests against Israel, it has repeatedly expressed support to the Palestinian people and is closely aligned with Tehran.

Speaker Johnson says he looks to provide more funding to Israel

House Speaker Mike Johnson will push a clean bill to fund Israel without offsets, he said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."

"We’re going to try again this week," Johnson said, adding that he has not ruled out adding aid to Ukraine, as well.

Details of the package, which will be sent to the Senate in the coming days, are still being hammered out, he said.

Israel's president describes Iran attack as a 'declaration of war' in exclusive Sky News interview

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said in an exclusive interview with Sky News that the country is not seeking war with Iran, but that it would defend itself.

“I mean, this is a declaration of war,” Herzog said. “Now because we are restrained and because we know the repercussions, and because we have deliberations with our partners, we are considering all options and I’m quite confident that we will take the necessary steps that are necessary to protect and defend our people.”

He added that Israelis are “not war seekers.”

The Iranian foreign ministry released a statement Saturday reiterating its position that the strikes carried out against Israel were “in exercise of its inherent right of self-defense.”

The ministry cited Article 51 of the United Nations charter and said that it responded to Israeli’s “recurring military aggressions,” including the strike of Iran’s diplomatic building in Syria earlier this month.

When asked by Sky News whether the April 1 attack on Iran's diplomatic building was "worth it," Herzog said that the attack hit a facility "nearby" the consulate, not the consulate building itself.

Israel has not taken responsibility for the strike but Herzog did not deny it when asked.

Analysis: Can Biden pressure Netanyahu not to retaliate against Iran?

Raf Sanchez

TEL AVIV — President Biden putting pressure on Netanyahu not to respond to Iran's overnight aerial assault begs the question: Can the U.S. persuade Israel not to retaliate against Iran?

History shows there is some precedent.

Let’s go back to early 1991 and the first Gulf War: Saddam Hussein began firing dozens of SCUD missiles from Iraq into Israeli cities. Two people were killed and there was terror across Israel that the missiles would detonate with chemical or biological warheads, causing mass casualties. 

Israel’s right-wing prime minister at the time, Yitzhak Shamir, was poised to order airstrikes in response. But President George H.W. Bush talked him out of it. 

Bush was concerned that an Israeli attack on Iraq would shatter the fragile diplomatic coalition the U.S. had built to take on Hussein — a coalition that included Arab states. That coalition went on defeat Iraqi forces, liberate Kuwait and halt the SCUD missile attacks on Israel.

It’s an example Biden and his aides may be looking to as they try to convince Netanyahu not to escalate further.

Arab officials worry Netanyahu could use this moment to start a wider war with Iran

+3

Sean Nevin

Mahalia Dobson

Richard Engel, Elizabeth Chuck, Sean Nevin and Mahalia Dobson

JERUSALEM — Two senior Arab officials tell NBC News they are worried that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could use this moment to start a wider war with Iran.

The concern comes amid pleas from across the Arab world for restraint in the region. Ayman Safadi, the Jordanian minister of foreign affairs, tweeted that an escalation of the conflict could push the "whole region into abyss of war," and said "the first step towards de-escalation is ending the Israeli aggression on Gaza & starting to implement the 2-state solution as it is the only path to security & peace for all."

Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, tweeted that the escalation between Iran and Israel "is nothing but a direct result of what Egypt has repeatedly warned about, about the dangers of expanding the conflict in the region as a result of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, and the provocative military actions being practiced in the region."

Other Arab officials urged diplomacy to prevent exacerbating tensions. In a statement posted on X, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the U.N. Security Council “to assume its responsibility towards maintaining international peace and security, especially in this region that is extremely sensitive to global peace and security, and to prevent the escalation of the crisis that will have serious consequences if it expands.”

In the United Arab Emirates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for "resolving differences through dialogue and through diplomatic channels, and for adhering to the rule of law and respecting the United Nations Charter."

War Cabinet meeting underway in Israel as government weighs response

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the war cabinet in the Kirya in Tel Aviv.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the war cabinet in the Kirya in Tel Aviv on Sunday.Amos Ben Gershom / Israel Government Press Office

Israel's war Cabinet is meeting now, a senior Israeli official told NBC News, noting that "policy issues are going to be laid out."

“From our perspective, the situation is ongoing and we don’t know if it’s over yet,” the official said. “We are still dealing with their proxies in the region and we are still in the middle of a war.”

Iranian leadership has said it considers its response to Israel concluded and that it acted in self-defense following the strike on its diplomatic facilities in Syria.

The Israeli official referred to the Iran attack as a “failure," adding that they believed Iran's regime made a mistake "by exposing itself to the world.”

GOP House Intel chair says 'there should be a red line' on Iran

Alexandra Marquezis based in Washington, D.C.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, criticized the Biden administration after a top White House official declined to say whether the Biden administration has a “red line” for getting directly involved in a conflict against Iran.

“There should be a red line," Turner said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Asked during an earlier interview with "Meet the Press" about a potential "red line" for Iran, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “We could sit here all day talking about what is and what isn’t a red line. I’m not going to do that.”

Turner called on the Biden administration to “take seriously that this attack has happened. It’s unprecedented and certainly it needs to be viewed as an escalation.” 

Still, Turner agreed, “I don’t think at this point that the United States should be engaged in a military action directly at Iran.”

International leaders condemn strikes on Israel

Fears of escalation into a regional war are top of mind for international leaders who urged restraint, many condemning Iran for its retaliatory strike and expressing solidarity with Israel.

Western allies, such as Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom, had harsh words for the Iranian regime. U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak accused Iran of "sowing chaos in its own backyard" while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the attack demonstrated "the Iranian regime’s disregard for peace and stability in the region."

Leadership in numerous other countries expressed solidarity with Israel, including leaders in Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Austria and France.

Some leaders expressed concerns about the spiraling tensions in the Middle East. Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the country was following the situation "with the deepest concern." The United Arab Emirates released a statement through its foreign ministry pleading for restraint "to avoid dangerous repercussions" while urging diplomacy.

A few government leaders placed blame on Israel, with Russia backing Iran's own right to self-defense under the United Nations charter. The Russian statement went on to urge all parties to restrain themselves while reiterating that a failure to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will continue to bring tension.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro said he believes we are "now in the prelude to World War III" and wished for Israelis "to stop the madness of their ruler."

Fetterman says U.S. should unconditionally stand with Israel

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., says he is shocked by President Joe Biden's message to Israel that the U.S. will not participate in operations against Iran after it fired missiles at Israel.

"It’s astonishing that we are not standing firmly with Israel," Fetterman said on CNN Sunday morning. "There should never be any kind of conditions on all that. When a nation can launch hundreds of drones at Israel, I’m not going to be talking conditions, ever."

When asked if he thought Biden's warning to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the right call, he bluntly said: "I don’t agree with that."

"I just think we should follow and have Israel’s back in the situation," he added. "I don’t agree with the president."

China expresses ‘deep concern’ over Iranian attack

HONG KONG — China expressed “deep concern” over the Iranian attack on Israel, describing it as “the latest spillover of the Gaza conflict” and calling for restraint by relevant parties to prevent further escalation.

“China calls on the international community, especially countries with influence, to play a constructive role for the peace and stability of the region,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement today.

China has sought to serve as a mediator in the Middle East, an increasingly important source of energy imports for the world’s second-largest economy.

Scenes inside Israeli war Cabinet during Iranian assault

Max Butterworth

Paul Goldman / NBC News
The Israeli military said on April 14 that Iran's attack using hundreds of drones and missiles had been "foiled", with 99 percent of them intercepted overnight.
Israeli Army / AFP - Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, convened his war management Cabinet in the Kirya area of Tel Aviv late yesterday.

Former Russian president: An Israel-Iran war would hurt Biden's re-election prospects

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on the messaging platform Telegram that a war between Israel and Iran would hurt Joe Biden’s chance of being re-elected U.S. president.

“What is the difference for Washington between what happened in the Middle East and the events in ‘Ukraine’? America does not want a big war in the Middle East. And it tries to maintain balance and show restraint,” he wrote. 

“Killings in Gaza worsen Biden’s election prospects, and the war between Israel and Iran adds further uncertainty.”

Iran says it told U.S. and neighbors 'limited' attack was coming, summons Western ambassadors

Max Burman

Iran has sought to make clear this morning that it considers its exchange with Israel over, while warning against a response.

Tehran informed the U.S. ahead of time that it would launch a "limited" retaliatory attack against Israel for self-defense, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors in the Iranian capital today. He also said that Iran's regional neighbors were given 72 hours notice that the retaliatory strikes were coming.

President Ebrahim Raisi said that his country's armed forces had "taught a lesson to the Zionist enemy." Raisi warned that "any new adventure will be responded with a heavier and regrettable response."

And Tehran said that it had summoned the French, British and German envoys over their reactions to the attack.

Pope Francis makes 'heartfelt appeal' against 'spiral of violence'

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Deborah Lubov

Liam Woods

Elizabeth Chuck, Deborah Lubov and Liam Woods

Pope Francis addressed the escalating tensions in the Middle East, calling for an end to the worsening violence.

"I make a heartfelt appeal for a halt to any action that might fuel a spiral of violence with the risk of dragging the Middle East into an even greater war conflict," he said, speaking in Italian in public remarks after reciting the Regina Coeli prayer.

"No one should threaten the existence of others," he continued. "Instead, all nations should take the side of peace and help the Israelis and Palestinians to live in two states, side by side, in security."

The pope urged a cease-fire and for hostages to be freed.

"No more war, no more attacks, no more violence," he said. "Yes to dialogue and yes to peace.”

Some flights canceled following Iran attack on Israel

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Liam Woods

Mahalia Dobson

Elizabeth Chuck, Liam Woods and Mahalia Dobson

Iran's attack on Israel has caused some air travel disruptions in the region, with Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran canceling all flights through at least 6 a.m. local time Monday, according to Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency. In Israel, a spokesperson for the Israeli Airport Authority said airspace was back open but that travelers should check with airlines to see if their flights had been rescheduled.

At least one airline, Lufthansa, canceled flights in advance of the attack, announcing on Friday that it had suspended flights into Tehran and Beirut through Thursday, April 18. It also suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv; Erbil, Iraq; and Amman, Jordan, through Monday.

Emirates Airlines canceled and rerouted flights immediately following the attack, but said it had resumed operations to and from Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq as of Sunday afternoon local time.

Analyst: Attack is a 'major milestone,' even if Iran intended it to be largely symbolic

Iran's unprecedented attack on Israel marks a significant moment in history, even if it was intended to be largely symbolic, according to an analyst with geopolitical risk advisory firm Eurasia Group.

"Make no mistake: even if #Iran intended this to be a telegraphed and (it would seem) largely symbolic show of force to restore deterrence, it has attacked Israel with missiles and drones for the first time," tweeted Gregory Brew, an Iran analyst.

"Alea iacta est, folks," he added, using a Latin term for "the die is cast."

Brew wrote that he "did not anticipate Iran would use its own missiles, from within its own territory, against Israel directly."

"A major milestone," Brew tweeted.

NSC's John Kirby: 'I won't get into hypotheticals' on potential retaliatory strikes against Iran

Alexandra Marquezis based in Washington, D.C.

In an interview with NBC News' "Meet the Press" on Sunday, John Kirby, the White House National Security Council spokesperson, declined to confirm NBC News reporting that Biden told Netanyahu that U.S. will not participate in offensive operations against Iran.

"I won't go into the greater detail of the [president's] conversation with the prime minister [of Israel]," Kirby told moderator Kristen Welker.

"'We stand with you and your self defense,' that was the main message that the president delivered to the prime minister," Kirby added, also declining to mention any "red lines" for U.S. involvement against Iran.

He also lauded Israel for "an incredible military achievement" in shooting down incoming attacks from Iran last night and reiterated that "we don't seek an escalation. We don't seek a wider war in the region."

New York to increase security for Jewish communities

New York Mayor Eric Adams says he has directed the New York Police Department to deploy additional resources to Jewish communities and places of worship across the city “out of abundance of caution.”

“Our administration has also begun outreach to both Jewish leaders and elected officials across the five boroughs to keep them apprised of the situation,” Adams said in a post on X, noting that there is no direct or imminent threat to New York.

“Our intelligence and counterterrorism teams will continue to closely monitor the situation,” he said.

Quiet streets in Tel Aviv after Iranian attack

Paul Goldman

TEL AVIV — Traffic today on Route 5, one of the busiest roads into Tel Aviv, was much thinner than usual, as many people appeared to be staying home after Iran’s overnight attack. Sunday is the start of Israel’s workweek.

Some schools are on break for the upcoming Passover holiday, but children’s camps are closed due to the situation. Popular coffee shops are not as busy as usual, with plenty of seats available.

Israel on Sunday hailed its successful air defenses in the face of an unprecedented attack by Iran, saying it and its allies thwarted 99% of the more than 300 drones and missiles launched toward its territory. But regional tensions remain high, amid fears of further escalation in the event of a possible Israeli counter-strike.
A man walks past a mural depicting President Biden in Tel Aviv today.Leo Correa / AP

World cannot afford another war, U.N. chief says ahead of Security Council meeting

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned the Iranian attack on Israel and called for the immediate cessation of hostilities, citing fears they could escalate into a regionwide conflict.

“I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” he said in a statement last night. “I have repeatedly stressed that neither the region nor the world can afford another war.”

The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today at 4 p.m. ET after a request by Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. The ambassador, Gilad Erdan, asked the council to condemn Iran’s attack on his country and to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organization.

“The Iranian attack is a serious threat to global peace and security and I expect the Council to use every means to take concrete action against Iran,” Erdan said in a post on X.

Missile debris lands in the Jordanian capital

Max Butterworth

Security agents stand around the debris of a missile that Jordanian forces intercepted over the capital, Amman, amid an unprecedented Iranian drone and missile attack on Israel.

Jordan's council of ministers said the armed forces intercepted 'flying objects' which breached its airspace.
Ahmad Shoura / AFP - Getty Images

Hamas rejects latest hostage deal proposal, Netanyahu's office says

Palestinian group Hamas has rejected a proposal to free the remaining 133 hostages taken from Israel on Oct. 7 last year, which set off the six-month-old Israel-Hamas war, Israel has said.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Mossad intelligence agency said in a statement early today that a week after meeting with Israeli officials and three mediators in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, "Hamas responded negatively to the outline presented to it."

The Israelis said the rejection — which it said included "a very significant area of flexibility" from Israel — proves that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar "does not want a humanitarian deal and the return of the abductees."

The Hamas leader, the prime minister's office said, "continues to take advantage of the tensions with Iran and strive for the unification of the arenas and an overall escalation in the region."

Israel said it would continue with the goals of the war, to free the hostages and wipe out Hamas entirely.

Hamas confirmed in a statement on Saturday, reported by the Reuters news agency, that it had rejected the proposal. The group said it continued to work towards a permanent cease-fire as well as the "the withdrawal of the occupation army from the entire Gaza Strip."

Biden told Netanyahu that U.S. won’t support Israeli counterattack, official tells NBC News

WASHINGTON — Biden told Netanyahu that while the U.S. commitment to defend Israel is ironclad, it will not participate in offensive operations against Iran, a senior administration official told NBC News.

In their call last night, the official said, Biden told Netanyahu that since the Iranian attack appeared to have caused minimal casualties and damage, Israel should not retaliate against Iran.

Separately, a senior administration official and a senior defense official said earlier that top U.S. officials are concerned that Israel could respond quickly without thinking through potential fallout.

Israel thanks allies and says it's ready for more attacks

Israel's military is ready for further acts of aggression from Iran and said the international coalition of allies that defended the country from some 303 missiles and armed drones was standing firm.

“Bless you dear soldiers and commanders of the IDF and IAF. Bless the coalition of nations led by the US and @POTUS,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog said in a post on X.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told Sky News today that the aerial defense operation, which involved American, British and French forces, was a "unity of reasonable players against the diabolical plan of Iran."

"This is a very, very serious act against Israel," Lerner said. "Together, united, we saved Israeli lives."

As for whether Israel would respond, Lerner said this was "a good question" and said the IDF is ready for any eventuality, but that the military would take its cues from the government, which is meeting today.

People look at an Israeli naval ship patrolling off the Israeli coast on April 14, 2024 in Natanya.
People look at an Israeli naval ship patroling off the Israeli coast today in Natanya.Amir Levy / Getty Images

Ukraine condemns Iran, drawing parallels with Russian attacks as it pushes for new U.S. aid

Liam Woods

Elizabeth Chuck and Liam Woods

Ukraine has condemned Iran's attack on Israel, drawing parallels with its fight against Russia as Kyiv presses its allies to boost its own aerial defenses, which have come under increasing attack from drones Tehran has supplied to Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on X that "Iran’s actions threaten the entire region and the world, just as Russia’s actions threaten a larger conflict."

Zelenskyy called on the U.S. to “make the necessary decisions to strengthen America’s allies at this critical time," with new military aid for Kyiv held up by Republicans in Congress and Russia threatening a battlefield breakthrough.

His post came hours after the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs appealed for the world to act "before it's too late."

"Just as #Iran attacked #Israel with Shahed drones last night, Russia simultaneously attacked Kharkiv in Ukraine with the same weapon," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on X today. "Unpunished evil always returns and, if not stopped, spreads widely. The time to break this cycle of violence is now. Before it’s too late."

Biden ‘doesn’t believe’ that Iran attack ‘needs’ to escalate into wider war, says NSC’s John Kirby

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby joins “Meet the Press” as fears grow of a wider war in the Middle East following Iran’s retaliatory attack on Israel.

Israeli girl, 7, in life-threatening condition after Iranian attack

A 7-year-old girl is in a critical condition after receiving severe head injuries in Iran's attack on Israel overnight, Israeli authorities said today.

"The condition of the 7-year-old girl evacuated from the scene last night has worsened and remains critical and unstable," said Yasmin Amos, a spokesperson at the Soroka Medical Center in the southern city of Beersheba, where the girl is being treated.

"She is suffering from severe head injuries, and her life is in danger." she said.

Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner confirmed to the U.K.'s Sky News earlier that the so-far unidentified girl was in a "life-threatening" condition.

The vast majority of the 300 missile and armed drones were intercepted by Israeli forces and their allies, including American, British and French forces.

Previous reports put the girl's age at 10.

Hamas and Palestinian militant groups praise Iran attack

Palestinian militant group Hamas has said Iran's barrage of more than 300 missiles and armed drones overnight was a "deserved response" for Israel's attack on Iran's consulate in Syria on April 1.

On its Telegram channel, Hamas said Tehran was exercising its "natural right" and was carrying out "a deserved response to the crime of targeting the Iranian consulate in Damascus and assassinating a number of Revolutionary Guard leaders there."

Separately, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said Israel was humiliated and unable to defend itself. "The Iranian response to the zionist entity is a pivotal event that will establish new rules of engagement in the region," it said on Telegram.

The Palestinian Mujahideen Movement, an armed faction in the Gaza Strip, also hailed the Iranian response on its Telegram channel today. Israel, it said, "is not deterred except by hitting it on the head."

Rocket trails in the sky above the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem early on April 14, 2024.
Rocket trails in the sky above the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem early Sunday.AFP - Getty Images

‘A very scary night’ in Israel

Raf Sanchez

JAFFA — In this coastal city to the south of Tel Aviv, the streets are quiet but calm. The beaches are empty and the skies above — which were noisy with fighter jets overnight — are largely still.

For parents across Israel, the deep fear of last night has given way to a more mundane daytime concern: how to keep kids entertained with schools and education centers closed across the country.

“All the parents are at home today because they’ve got no place to put their kids,” said Debbie Kay, a 49-year-old marketing manager whose teenage son was supposed to be at camp ahead of the Passover holiday.

“I feel very relieved. It was a very scary night,” she said, saying she was encouraged that Israel’s air defenses had largely repelled the attack. “We showed the world we’re not going to take anything from anyone and we have the strength to fight back. And our allies came through for us.”

She added that she hoped Israel would not strike back against Iran. “If we do something now, I think that would be stupidity and ego. I don’t think anyone here wants any more escalation.”

Explosions light up the sky over Jerusalem during Iran's attack early April 14, 2024.
Explosions light up the sky over Jerusalem during Iran's attack early Sunday.AFP - Getty Images

Netanyahu: ‘We intercepted. We blocked. Together we will win.’

In his only public comment on the Iranian attack so far, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a post on X: “We intercepted. We blocked. Together we will win.”

Iranian military chief says attack is over but warns of strikes on U.S. targets

The chief of staff of Iran's armed forces said today that while this weekend's drone and missile attack on Israel has ended, the regime will attack U.S. bases in the region if Washington takes part in any attack on Iranian targets.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri told state TV: "If Washington participates in any attack against us, we will target its bases in the region and their bases will be unsafe."

Bagheri added: "If Israel attacks our interests we will respond with force and our next operation will be much bigger."

He said the missile barrage on Israel had ended only because "we are not willing to continue it," implying that Iran could have continued had it chosen to do so.

Separately, Hossein Salami, commander in chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, told state TV that the attack "could have been extensive," but was "more successful than expected."

Early morning scenes in Jerusalem

Max Butterworth

Iran's unprecedented attack on Israel has been "foiled," the Israeli army announced on April 14, with almost all of the more than 200 missiles and drones intercepted with the help of the United States and allies.
Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images
Iran's unprecedented attack on Israel has been "foiled," the Israeli army announced on April 14, with almost all of the more than 200 missiles and drones intercepted with the help of the United States and allies.
Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP - Getty Images
More than 200 Iranian missiles and drones intercepted with the help of the United States and allies.
Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

Civilians appear to be returning to normal life in Jerusalem this morning, after Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel overnight.

U.S. Embassy in Israel lifts shelter-in-place warning for employees

U.S. government workers and their families in Israel no longer need to take shelter after the threat of drone and missile attacks "diminished," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement early today.

The embassy however retains its previous cautious travel advice for U.S. citizens, which limits personal travel to between Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and no further south than Be'er Sheva.

Schools are closed across Israel today — Sunday is the first day of the working week is Israel — and many flights are canceled.

"The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem reminds U.S. citizens of the continued need for caution and increased personal security awareness as security incidents often take place without warning," the statement said.

Israeli defense minister: 'Campaign is not over'

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned that the confrontation between Iran and Israel "is not over."

“The campaign is not over yet. ... We must be prepared for every scenario,” Gallant said in a statement released early today.

"Overnight, the whole world saw the true face of Iran — a terrorist state that attacked the State of Israel from a distance of 1,500 km and in doing so also attempted to employ all of its proxies," Gallant said in a statement released early today.

"On the other hand, the world also saw the power of a coalition, and how Israel, together with the United States and additional partners, stood together and thwarted this attack," he said.

Airspaces reopened in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq

Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have reopened their airspaces after closing them last night amid the Iranian attack on Israel, Reuters reported, citing Jordan and Lebanese state television and Iraq’s aviation authority.

Israel reopened its airspace at 7:30 a.m. local time Sunday (12:30 a.m. ET), though flight schedules from Tel Aviv may still be affected.

Jordan is one of the countries believed to have taken part in the coalition intercepting Iranian drones and missiles that traveled through its airspace.

Iranians gather in central Tehran after strike on Israel

Max Butterworth

Demonstrators wave Iran's flag and Palestinian flags as they gather at Palestine Square in Tehran on April 14, 2024, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel.
Atta Kenare / AFP - Getty Images
 Iran's Revolutionary Guards confirmed early April 14, 2024 that a drone and missile attack was under way against Israel in retaliation for a deadly April 1 drone strike on its Damascus consulate.
Atta Kenare / AFP - Getty Images

Demonstrators waving Iranian and Palestinian flags gathered at Palestine Square in Tehran early this morning, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel.Others gathered outside the British Embassy in the Iranian capital late last night.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards confirmed early April 14, 2024 that a drone and missile attack was under way against Israel in retaliation for a deadly April 1 drone strike on its Damascus consulate.
Atta Kenare / AFP - Getty Images

Biden says he will coordinate a ‘united diplomatic response’ to Iran with G7 leaders

President Joe Biden said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the security of Israel.

Military forces followed Biden’s direction to help Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles, the president said. He also praised the country’s ability to fend off attacks as a sign to others who threaten the security of Israel.

“Tomorrow, I will convene my fellow G7 leaders to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack,” Biden said. “My team will engage with their counterparts across the region. And we will stay in close touch with Israel’s leaders.”

Though no U.S. forces have been attacked, Biden said America will “remain vigilant to all threats.” He condemned the Iranian regime’s attack tonight in the “strongest possible terms.”

Iran launched over 300 projectiles, Israeli military says

Israel intercepted 99% of the more than 300 projectiles launched by Iran, and is ready for “any further developments and scenarios,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said.

Among the projectiles were some 30 cruise missiles, none of which made it into Israel, Hagari said in a televised statement. Only a “few” of the more than 120 ballistic missiles launched entered Israel, with the rest being intercepted, he added.

Some of the ballistic missiles hit the Nevatim air base, but they caused only minor infrastructure damage, and the base remained operational, Hagari said.

A 10-year-old girl was severely injured by shrapnel, but there were no immediate reports of other Israeli injuries or deaths, Hagari said.

“Iran did something very serious, very severe this night, as it pushed the Middle East toward escalation. We will do whatever is necessary in order to defend the citizens of the state of Israel,” he said.