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Exchange of threats between Israel and Iran, strong international concerns

Israel has sworn Tuesday to charge à Iran the price of its unprecedented attack on Israeli territory, despite international calls à restraint in a region already shaken by the war in the Gaza Strip.

In Tehran, President Ebrahim Raïssi warned that “the slightest action” by Israel against “Iran's interests” would provoke “a severe, widespread and painful response” from his country.

Exchange of threats between Israel and Iran, strong international concerns

An Israeli army soldier stands next to an Iranian ballistic missile that fell in Israel during last weekend's Iranian attack, during a media visit to the Julis military base in southern Israel Israel, April 16, 2024 © AFP – GIL COHEN-MAGEN

In this context which reinforces fears of a conflagration in the Middle East, the offensive of the Israeli army in the besieged Gaza Strip and threatened with famine, shows no sign of respite, with 46 Palestinians killed in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health of the Islamist movement Hamas.

Twelve days after a deadly strike against its consulate in Damascus on April 1 blamed on Israel, Iran launched a drone and missile attack against Israeli territory on Saturday evening, the first ever carried out from Iranian soil.< /p>

Almost all of the 350 projectiles were intercepted with the help of the United States and other allied countries, Israel said, reporting injuries.

Exchange of threats between Israel and Iran, strong international concerns

Motorists drive past a billboard depicting Iranian ballistic missiles in central Tehran on April 15, 2024. © AFP – ATTA KENARE

“We cannot remain idly faced with such aggression, Iran will not emerge unscathed” from its attack, said army spokesperson Daniel Hagari, during a media tour to a base in southern Israel.

“Firing 110 missiles directly at Israel will not go unpunished. We will respond when, instead and in the way we choose,” said Rear Admiral Hagari, whose country is the sworn enemy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

– ” In nobody's interest” –

Exchange of threats between Israel and Iran, strong international concerns

Israel, Palestinian territories and Iran © AFP – Jonathan WALTER, Anibal MAIZ CACERES

Just after its attack, Iran claimed to have acted “by exercising its right to self-defense” following the strike which destroyed its consulate in Damascus and cost the lives of two senior officials in particular. Iranian officers, and said they considered “the matter closed”.

The Israeli army claimed that the victims of the strike in the Syrian capital were “terrorists” acting against Israel, without confirming or denying its involvement.

Fearing an explosion in the region, the United States, Israel's unwavering allies, quickly made it known that they did not want “an extended war with Iran” and warned that they would not participate in an Israeli retaliation operation.

Exchange of threats between Israel and Iran, strong international concerns

Iranians carrying the portrait of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei celebrate the attack on Israel, April 15, 2024 in Tehran © AFP – ATTA KENARE

The United Kingdom and France have also distanced themselves. Russia called on both parties to “restraint”, assuring that a “further escalation is in no one's interest”.

“We do not “We don't need additional conflict in our region,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhane.

After the support of several allies in the interception of the missiles, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to “remain united” in the face of “aggression Iranian, which threatens world peace”.

– “Without pity” –

Iran, which calls for the destruction of Israel, has until now refrained from attacking it head-on and confronts it via its allies such as the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Exchange of threats between Israel and Iran, strong international concerns

In the ruins of the town of Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, destroyed by Israeli bombings, April 16, 2024 © AFP – –

On Tuesday, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for launching two explosive drones from Lebanon on Israeli positions in the north. The army later claimed to have killed a Lebanese movement commander in a strike.

Despite the twists and turns linked to Iran, Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed his determination to continue the war against Hamas in Gaza.

“You are joining the IDF (Israeli army, Editor's note) in glorious fighting units in order to repel a cruel enemy, the monsters who attacked us,” he told new recruits at the Tel base Hashomer (center). “We strike them back mercilessly and we will defeat them.”

The war was triggered by an unprecedented attack carried out on October 7 by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza in southern Israel, which left 1,170 dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report established from official Israeli data. More than 250 people have been kidnapped and 129 remain held in Gaza, 34 of whom have died, according to Israeli officials.

In retaliation, Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union.

– 33,843 dead in Gaza according to the Hamas –

The devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip has left 33,843 dead since October 7, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health, and has caused a humanitarian catastrophe with most of the 2.4 million inhabitants at risk of famine according to the UN.

Exchange of threats between Israel and Iran, strong international concerns

Palestinians mourn their loved ones killed in an Israeli bombardment in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, April 16, 2024 © AFP – –

In front of a bakery that has just reopened in Gaza City, Palestinians queue for hours to buy bread.

“I waited six hours to get a loaf of bread,” said one man, Khaled al-Ghoula. “It's very difficult, it's unfair to only have one bakery to feed the entire Gaza Strip.”

According to the agency UN for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the volume of humanitarian aid authorized by Israel to enter Gaza remains well below the target of 500 trucks per day, with “181 trucks” each day since the beginning of April.

Exchange of threats between Israel and Iran, strong international concerns

Destructions in the Palestinian camp of Maghazi, in the central Gaza Strip, after an Israeli bombardment on April 15, 2024 © AFP – –

Hamas continues to demand a definitive ceasefire with a view to a truce in the war. But Benjamin Netanyahu maintains his plan for a ground offensive against the city of Rafah, in the south, which he presents as the last great bastion of the Islamist movement.

The community international community fears a bloodbath in this city which has become a refuge for 1.5 million Palestinians, most of them displaced.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116