The Citizen (KZN)

Iran threatens more violence


- Jerusalem

99% of launches were intercepte­d, according to Israel.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi yesterday warned against any “reckless” Israeli retaliatio­n to Tehran’s unpreceden­ted missile and drone attack, as world leaders urged restraint.

Iran launched its first attack on Israeli territory, marking a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes and sparking fears of a broader conflict, as fighting between Israel and Hamas militants rages on in the Gaza Strip.

Tehran had repeatedly threatened to retaliate against Israel for a deadly 1 April air strike on Iran’s consulate building in Damascus, and Washington warned in recent days a response was imminent.

The response came late on Saturday when Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles towards Israel, injuring 12 people, the Israeli army said.

Among the injured was a seven-year-old girl near the southern Israeli town of Arad who was in intensive care, according to the medical centre that received her.

But almost all of the drones and missiles were intercepte­d before they reached Israel, with help from the US, Jordan and other allies.

Israeli military spokespers­onRear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that 99% of the launches had been intercepte­d, declaring that “the Iranian attack was foiled”.

While 170 drones and 30 cruise missiles were shot down before they reached Israel, a few of the 110 ballistic missiles did get through, the Israeli army said.

Iran’s President Raisi said in a statement that “if the Zionist regime (Israel) or its supporters demonstrat­e reckless behaviour, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response”.

The attack also came as the latest attempt to reach a ceasefire in the war in Gaza appeared to falter, with Israel accusing the Palestinia­n militant group Hamas of rejecting a truce proposal.

Iran’s proxies and allies also carried out coordinate­d attacks on Israeli positions.

AFP correspond­ents heard blasts in the skies above Jerusalem early yesterday morning , and overnight people sought cover in the city while some residents stockpiled water.

Yesteray morning, people were beginning to tentativel­y return to the streets of Jerusalem. –

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