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Iran launches a drone attack on Israel

In a significant escalation of tensions in the Middle East, Israeli officials reported late Saturday that Iran had initiated a drone attack toward Israel. Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari cautioned that it would take hours for the drones to reach Israeli airspace and advised citizens to seek shelter if sirens sounded in their areas.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced through Iranian state television that it had launched numerous drones and missiles targeting Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured the nation in a Saturday night address that they were prepared for any scenario, defensively and offensively.

The White House confirmed the launch, with President Biden monitoring from the Situation Room alongside top defense and diplomatic officials, reaffirming unwavering support for Israel’s security. The attack came days after Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised retaliation for an April 1 strike on an Iranian consulate in Damascus, blaming Israel for the incident.

As anticipation of retaliation grew, Israeli officials cautioned residents near Gaza and the Lebanon border to minimize gatherings and remain indoors or near shelters, resulting in school closures across Israel until Monday. Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, labeled Iran a terrorist state and vowed to defend citizens against terrorism.

President Biden, returning early from a trip to Delaware, reiterated strong support for Israel and opposition to Iran’s actions. The strike and subsequent retaliation heighten concerns expressed by global officials since the outbreak of conflict between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7.

Despite longstanding ties between Iran and Hamas, the White House has not directly linked Iran to the October attack. Since then, Israel has launched airstrikes and conducted a ground invasion in Gaza, resulting in significant casualties and destruction.

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