Irán több tucat drónt lőtt Izraelre, kockáztatva az Izrael-Hamász háború eszkalációját

Irán több tucat drónt lőtt Izraelre, kockáztatva az Izrael-Hamász háború eszkalációját

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ISRAELIran launches dozens of drones at Israel, risking an escalation in the Israel-Hamas warBY RON KAMPEAS APRIL 13, 2024 4:55 PMIron dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from Lebanon, as it seen over the Hula Valley, April 12, 2024. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)ADVERTISEMENT

(JTA) — Iran launched dozens of drones at Israel, a gambit that may be aimed at swarming Israel’s air defenses. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was ready to strike back, portending an escalation in the Israel-Hamas war.

“We are watching the threat, it will take hours to arrive,” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the army spokesman, said Saturday night in a televised announcement of the launch of the drones from Iran and from territories controlled actors allied with the regime.

Israeli media said the drones could take 6-8 hours to arrive. It was not immediately clear what threat the drones posed, but experts speaking on Israeli media said that the drones could overwhelm Israeli air defenses, allowing entry to more lethal missiles timed to enter Israeli airspace at the same time.

Netanyahu in a brief address to the nation said Israel was ready for the threat, and thanked the United States, France and Britain, suggesting that those countries would assist in Israel’s self-defense.

“We appreciate the U.S. standing alongside Israel, as well as the support of Britain, France and many other countries,” he said. “We have determined a clear principle: Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We will defend ourselves against any threat and will do so level-headedly and with determination.”

Israel closed its airspace, keeping scheduled flights from landing or taking off.

Iran was retaliating for an alleged Israeli strike on an Iranian embassy building in Syria last week that killed a number Iranian officials. “The malicious Zionist regime will be punished,” the Iranian leader, Ali Khamenei, said on X, formerly known as Twitter, after the launch.

The launch of the drones could escalate the war launched Oct. 7 when Hamas terrorists massacred hundreds of people in Israel. It already seemed to have the unintended consequence of bridging differences between President Joe Biden and Netanyahu over Israel’s conduct of the war, which has cost tens of thousands of Palestinian lives.

Before he left for his home in Delaware on Friday, Biden said he had a one word warning for Iran: “Don’t.”

“We are devoted to the defense of Israel,” Biden said. “We will support Israel. We will defend — help defend Israel. And Iran will not succeed.”

Biden interrupted his weekend at his home in return to the White House on Saturday to be apprised of the threat by his national security team, the National Security Spokeswoman, Adrienne Watson, said in a statement.

“This attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours,” she said.  “President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad.  The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.”

Weaponized drones have become more common in warfare, particularly in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Hagari warned Israelis to heed any alerts to enter their secured rooms and to remain there at least ten minutes. Israel’s government ordered schools closed for the coming days. On Thursday, the United States barred government personnel and their families in Israel from traveling outside several major urban areas.

“Out of an abundance of caution, U.S. government employees and their family members are restricted from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv (including Herzliya, Netanya, and Even Yehuda), Jerusalem, and Be’er Sheva areas until further notice. U.S. government personnel are authorized to transit between these three areas for personal travel,” the alert said.