Israel says it will respond to Iran attack 'when time is right'


Israel is weighing possible responses to Iran's attack with hundreds of drones and missiles, amid growing calls for restraint to avert a wider war, Paralel.Az reports citing BBC.

Israel and its allies shot down nearly all projectiles fired in the first ever direct Iranian attack on Israel.

The US has said it will not take part in any Israeli response, to avoid an escalation in regional hostilities.

Centrist Israeli minister Benny Gantz said the country would "exact the price" from Iran when timing is right.

For almost two weeks Iran had telegraphed its plans to respond to the 1 April air strike on its diplomatic compound in the Syrian capital, Damascus, that killed several military advisors, including two top generals. Iran blamed Israel for the attack, saying it was equivalent to a strike on its own soil.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said Iran fired around 300 explosive drones, cruise and ballistic missiles, but that 99% of them were intercepted by Israel, supported by US, British, Jordanian and other allied forces.

In Jerusalem, the air raid sirens went off at around 01:45, followed by loud blasts after the air defence intercepted projectiles over the city. A map published by the Israeli military showed the entire country covered with red dots, symbolising areas at risk of being hit and where residents were urged to seek shelter.

The attack, in the end, had limited impact. A military base in the south sustained minor damage, the Israeli military said, and a seven-year-old Israeli girl was critically wounded by a missile that got through the defences.

In a phone call overnight, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu America's "ironclad commitment" to the security of Israel, but said the US would not support an Israeli retaliation.

Later, a senior administration official said Israel's successful defence was already a victory over Iran, and that the country should "think carefully" about what it does next.

"Big question is not only whether, but what the Israelis might choose to do, so this is a decision for them," the official said.