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Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi of the Israel Defence Forces

Israel promises response to Iranian drone and missile attack as Iran warns against it

President Ebrahim Raisi has warned Israel it will face a “painful response” if it takes the “slightest action” in response to the weekend attack.


IRAN’S ATTACK ON Israel will be met with consequences as Israeli forces remain on high alert, according to the head of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi.

Speaking in English, Halevi said the IDF was monitoring the situation closely after Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles at Israel over the weekend.

“We remain at our highest level of readiness,” Halevi said. ”This launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles, and UAVs into the territory of the State of Israel will be met with a response.”

Meanwhile, Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari has said Iran “will not get [off] scot-free with this aggression”. 

That missile and drone assault – the first time Iran has directly attacked Israel – was a response to an airstrike that levelled an Iranian consulate building in Damascus, Syria on 1 April, killing 16 people, including two Iranian generals.

Israel has not admitted to carrying out the strike but it has not denied it either, while also claiming that the building was not a consulate. 

“These were people who engaged in terrorism against the State of Israel,” Hagari said earlier. “There was not a single diplomat there as far as I know.”

“Iran will face the consequences for its actions. We will choose our response accordingly,” said Halevi. 

“The IDF remains ready to counter any threat from Iran or its terror proxies as we continue our mission to defend the state of Israel.”

Israel’s allies, including those who assisted in intercepting the Iranian attack, have publicly urged it to show restraint and not to escalate the conflict further. Iran followed its attack with a statement saying it now considered the matter closed, but warned Israel not to take further action. 

Meanwhile, in Tehran, President Ebrahim Raisi has warned Israel it will face a “painful response” if it takes the “slightest action” in response to the weekend attack. 

“We firmly declare that the slightest action against Iran’s interests will definitely be met with a severe, extensive and painful response,” Raisi said in a call yesterday with Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Raisi reiterated that Iran was acting in “self-defence”, saying the operation targeted Israeli bases used to carry out the consulate strike, a statement from his office said.

During a phonecall with Raisi today, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that that further escalation in the Middle East could have “catastrophic consequences”.

“Vladimir Putin expressed hope that all sides would show reasonable restraint and prevent a new round of confrontation fraught with catastrophic consequences for the entire region,” the Kremlin said in a readout of the call.

Iran has portrayed its retaliatory missile and drone barrage as the first act in a tough new strategy.

The Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, Mohammad Jamshidi, wrote on X (Twitter) that the “era of strategic patience is over”, and further targeting Iranian personnel and assets “will be met with a direct and punishing response”.

Includes reporting from AFP