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Why Iran attacked Israel and what comes next ?

Author: Julia Beutel

Publication date: 17.04.2024

A bunch of drones and missiles flew towards Israel, causing a lot of tension and uncertainty in the Middle East. Iran launched this big attack because they were upset about Israel maybe attacking an Iranian building in Syria earlier this month. This is just making things worse between Iran and Israel, which have had problems for a long time, especially since Israel started fighting with Hamas last October. Here’s what you need to know.

How did Iran attack Israel?

Iran conducted a significant aerial assault on Israel by launching over 300 projectiles overnight, consisting of approximately 170 drones and more than 120 ballistic missiles. These attacks originated from multiple locations including Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon's Hezbollah. Around 350 rockets were fired in total.

Israel’s defense system

Despite Iran's extensive attack, Israel's defense systems successfully intercepted the majority of the projectiles. Only a small number managed to breach Israeli territory. Tehran's target was the Nevatim airbase, as claimed by an Iranian army official. This action was allegedly a response to a previous Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in April. Iranian ballistic missiles hit Israel's southern airbase, causing minor damage. However, the base remains operational. US ships destroyed several Iranian missiles, while aircraft shot down over 70 Iranian drones aimed at Israel.

Why did the attack take place ?

The attack occurred due to the longstanding rivalry between Israel and Iran, which has been ongoing for years. Israel's conflict with Hamas, especially since October 7, has intensified these tensions. Additionally, Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria have targeted US military positions, with Iran's leadership indicating that attacks by its allies will continue until Israel's actions in Gaza end. The situation escalated further in early April when Iran accused Israel of bombing its diplomatic complex in Syria.

The airstrike in Damascus destroyed the consulate building, resulting in the deaths of at least seven officials. The Iran-backed Hezbollah also said the strike would be met with “punishment and revenge”. Tensions remained high afterward, with both the US and Israel warning of potential Iranian attacks.

What happens next ?

What happens next depends on the decisions made by Israel's War Cabinet. This small group met on Sunday and Monday to discuss how to respond to the recent attacks. They're considering both military and diplomatic options. The IDF chief of staff emphasized that Iran's attack will be met with a response, while Israeli government officials are pushing for decisive action. However, Israel has also communicated to the United States that it doesn't seek a significant escalation with Iran, aiming instead to defend itself. Iran, on the other hand, has warned of a bigger assault if Israel fights back.

Global Diplomatic Efforts

Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, warned that should Israel initiate an attack, Iran's response will be "immediate, stronger, and more extensive." During a conversation with U.K. Foreign Minister David Cameron, Amirabdollahian restated Tehran's view that the assault on Israel was a justified response to the strike on its diplomatic premises. He blamed the region's tensions to what he called as "the destructive role of the occupying Israeli regime."

Future Uncertainties

Cameron confirmed their conversation and condemned Iran's revenge against Israel. He also discussed Iran's seizure of a Portuguese-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz. He stressed the necessity for Iran to stop such provocative actions, reduce tensions and release the MSC Aries. So, the situation remains tense, with both sides weighing their next moves.


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