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International pressure to prevent massive Israeli response against Iran

Photo: Atta Kenare Agence France-Presse An Iranian woman walks in front of a mural showing Iranian missiles in Tehran on Monday.

Sophie Makris – Agence France-Presse and Mohammed Abed respectively in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip

Posted at 7:54 a.m. Updated at 9:17 a.m.

  • Middle East

The international community redoubled diplomatic efforts on Wednesday to prevent a massive response by Israel against Iran which would risk setting the Middle East ablaze, while promising sanctions against Tehran which threatened its enemy of a “fierce” response.

The heads of British diplomacy, David Cameron, and German diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, called for de-escalation, during the first visit of Western representatives to Israel since the unprecedented attack launched by Iran against Israeli territory during the night of April 13-14.

This attack was followed by threats of cross reprisals between Israel and Iran, in a context of high regional tensions since the start, on October 7, of the war between Israel and Hamas, ally of Tehran, in the Gaza Strip .

While negotiations for a truce “are stalling”, according to Qatar, the Islamist movement's Ministry of Health on Wednesday counted 56 deaths in 24 hours across the Palestinian territory besieged and bombarded daily by Israel.

On another front, the Israeli army and Lebanese Hezbollah, another ally of Tehran, exchanged fire on Wednesday on both sides of Israel's northern border with Lebanon, according to the army, the day after an explosive drone attack on Israeli positions claimed by Hezbollah.

Appeal to “the whole world”

The Israeli head of state, Isaac Herzog, called on “the whole world” to counter the threat posed by the “regime” in Tehran, “which seeks to undermine the stability of the entire region”, by receiving David Cameron, and Annalena Baerbock.

Iran, for its part, celebrated Army Day on Wednesday by repeating that it would provide a “fierce and severe” response to any Israeli response.

The attack on Israel, President Ebrahim Raïssi said, was “precise, measured” and “punitive”, in response to the deadly strike against the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1, attributed to Israel.

Almost all of the 350 drones and missiles launched by Iran against Israel, a total load of 85 tons, were intercepted by Israeli anti-aircraft defense, with the help of the United States and other allied countries including France and the United Kingdom, but also Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

“We cannot stand idly by in the face of such aggression, Iran will not emerge unscathed,” Israeli army spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari promised Tuesday.

The form that such a response could take, against Iranian territory or against Iranian interests in a third country, remains uncertain.

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New sanctions

The United States, Israel's staunch ally, quickly made it known that it did not want “an extended war with Iran” and would not participate in an Israeli response.

The White House announced that it would impose, “in the coming days,” “new sanctions targeting Iran, including its drone and missile programs,” its Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Ministry of Defense.

The European Union is also considering broadening the scope of its sanctions, declared Tuesday its head of diplomacy, Josep Borrell.

The idea would be, for example, to extend to other types of weapons, such as missiles, the sanctions already adopted to prohibit the export from the European Union to Iran of components used in the manufacture of drones.

Annalena Baerbock pleaded on Tuesday for new European sanctions on Iranian drones. While assuring Israel of “Germany’s full solidarity”, she also indicated that she wanted to discuss with Israeli leaders ways “to avoid a further escalation”.

David Cameron hoped on Wednesday in front of British televisions that the G7 countries, which meet this week in Italy, would impose “coordinated sanctions” against Iran, accusing this country of being behind “so much “malicious activities” in the region.

Since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip, tensions have been growing in the Middle East, involving Israel and Iran, enemies since the Iranian revolution of 1979, and their respective allies.< /p>

The Islamic Republic, which calls for the destruction of Israel, had until now refrained from attacking it head-on and the two countries were used to confronting each other through third parties, such as the Yemeni Houthi rebels and Hezbollah. .

The UN calls for donations

After more than six months of war in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised on Tuesday to fight “without mercy” Hamas, in power in the territory since 2007.

Benjamin Netanyahu maintains in particular his plan for a ground offensive against the town of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, refuge for a million and a half Palestinians.

The army announced on Wednesday that its air force had struck “more than 40 targets across the Gaza Strip” the day before and “eliminated numerous terrorists”.

The war was sparked by an unprecedented attack on October 7 by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza into southern Israel, which left 1,170 people dead, mostly civilians, according to a toll from AFP 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 vowed to destroy Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union, and launched an offensive that has so far 33,899 dead, most of them civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

The UN, which fears widespread famine in the territory of 2.4 million people, is launching an appeal on Wednesday for $2.8 billion in donations to help Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

The war in Gaza has reignited the debate on a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On Thursday, the UN Security Council is due to decide on a Palestinian request to become a full member state of the United Nations, which appears destined to face a new US veto.

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