LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

BREAKING

Israel braces for Iranian retaliation amid rising tension: summary

People hold Israeli flags as they gather for a rally in solidarity with Israel, after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, in Berlin, Germany, April 14, 2024. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
Source: REUTERS

What we know

• Israel is on high alert for a possible attack by Iran or its proxies following warnings of retaliation for the killing of a senior Iranian officer in Damascus last week. The tension has escalated as countries such as India, France, Poland, and Russia have cautioned their citizens against traveling to the region, which is already tense due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, now in its seventh month.

• Reports suggest that some Israeli diplomatic missions have been partially evacuated, and security measures have been heightened, although Israel's foreign ministry has refrained from commenting on these developments. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby emphasized the seriousness of the threat from Iran, describing it as real and viable.

• The airstrike on April 1 that killed Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' overseas Quds Force, along with six other officers during a meeting in the Damascus embassy compound, has further heightened tensions.

• Although Israel did not claim responsibility for the strike, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed retaliation, equating the operation to an attack on Iranian soil.

• Meanwhile, Iranian sources and diplomats from the United States, Israel's main ally, have suggested that Tehran has signaled its desire to prevent a rapid escalation of tensions and will not act hastily, Reuters reports.

What they said

Chief military spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a statement that, "Over the past day, the military has conducted a situational assessment and approved plans for a range of scenarios following reports and statements on an Iranian attack.” Israel’s largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth also speculated a possible military retaliation, “The revenge will come. For the moment, the premise is that it will be very soon, in the next few days." Further, a senior researcher at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, Raz Zimmt noted that, "It's going to be very difficult for Iran not to retaliate. I still believe that Iran doesn't want to engage in full-scale, direct military confrontation against Israel, and certainly not with the United States. But it has to do something."

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