Iran Starts Attack on Israel, Launches Drone Swarm

2024-04-13 13:00:09

Iran appears to have launched the anticipated strike on Israel, launching a swarm of drones towards the Israeli air space.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the incoming Iranian aerial onslaught. “A short while ago, Iran launched UAVs from within its territory toward Israel,” the Israeli military posted on its Telegram account.

“The IDF is on high alert and is constantly monitoring the operational situation. The IDF Aerial Defense Array is on high alert, along with IAF fighter jets and Israeli Navy vessels that are on a defense mission in Israeli air and naval space. The IDF is monitoring all targets,” the military added.

The Israeli TV channel i24NEWS cited IDF sources saying that “100 UAVs have been launched toward Israel.”

According to initial media reports, it may take several hours  for the drones to enter the Israeli air space.

Some reports suggest that the IDF has already begun intercepting some of the drones.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter addressed the people of Israel in Hebrew, assuring that the nation and its armed forces were prepared for “any scenario, both defensively and offensively.”

With Iranian killer drones approaching, the Israeli war cabinet met Saturday night to review the situation. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night decided to convene the War Cabinet and then the broader Security Cabinet,” the Jewish News Syndicate news agency reported.

The Iranian regime-run media also acknowledged the commencement of hostilities. “According to the Iranian Fars news agency, Iranian drones have entered Iraqi airspace and are nearing Syria and Jordan,” the Israel-based ILTV reported on Telegram.

Israel orders school closures, bars large gatherings amid Iranian terror threat

Amid fears of am Iranian attack on Israeli soil, the country’s Home Front Command, a unit set up to deal with threats to civilian population, has issued new guidelines aimed at preventing large gatherings in case of a terror strike.

Under the new guidelines, restrictions, which are already in place in areas along the border with Gaza and Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon, have now been extended to the rest of the country.

Schools, colleges, and all other educational institutions have been closed, and Israel’s air defense array is monitoring the skies for any incoming incursions. “Israel closed its schools and canceled all extracurricular educational activities starting Sunday as the IDF remained on high alert for an attack from Iran with dozens of planes already in the sky prepared to defend the country,” the Jerusalem Post reported Saturday afternoon.

The Times of Israel reported the new restrictions:

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari announces new restrictions on civilian gatherings amid threats of an Iranian attack on Israel.

The Home Front Command guidelines prohibit educational activities nationwide and restrict gatherings to 1,000 people. In some areas, such as near the Gaza and Lebanon borders, stricter gathering restrictions already exist.

While most educational institutions are currently out due to the Passover holiday, Hagari says the restrictions also apply to school trips and camps.

The restrictions are valid through Monday at 11 p.m.

Hagari says Israel’s air defenses “are on alert” and “dozens of planes are ready in the sky.”

Meanwhile, a cyber attack on Iranian web sites posted alarming messages calling Tehran residents to stock up on food and water—suggesting a supposed armed conflict, Arabic language news outlets reported.

Iran’s IRGC hijacks Israeli-linked cargo ship in Strait of Hormuz

After days of threatening Israel, Iran appears to have kicked off its aggression by hijacking an Israeli-owned ship. Iran’s Islamic Guard (IRGC) forces took control of a cargo ship, partially linked to Israel, in the Strait of Hormuz and brought it into Iranian territorial waters, Iranian state media confirmed.

The crew of the India-bound vessel was largely made up of Indian and Filipino nationals. No Israeli was on board the hijacked ship, media reports confirm.

This is the first time since October 7 massacre that Iran has directly targeted Israel-linked ships in the region. Iran’s terrorist proxy Yemen-based Houthis have been seizing and firing at Israeli and Western-owned ships in the Red Sea since Hamas unleashed the deadly terror attack on Israel six months ago.

The Associated Press reported the latest act of Iranian aggression:

Commandos from Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard rappelled from a helicopter onto an Israeli-affiliated container ship near the Strait of Hormuz and seized the vessel Saturday in the latest attack between the two countries. (…)

Iran’s state-run IRNA said a special forces unit of the Guard’s navy carried out the attack on the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, a container ship associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime.

Zodiac Maritime is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group. Zodiac declined to comment and referred questions to MSC. Geneva-based MSC acknowledged the seizure and said 25 crew members were on the ship.

“We are working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure their wellbeing, and safe return of the vessel,” MSC said.

An Indian government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief to journalists, said 17 of the crew were Indians.

IRNA said the Guard would take the vessel into Iranian territorial waters.

Shortly ahead of the cargo ship’s hijacking, Israel’s military spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, cautioned Tehran against ‘escalating’ the terror any further. He slammed Iran for ‘funding, training and arming’ Hamas and terror proxies across in the region and beyond.

The IDF spokesman also highlighted Tehran’s role in facilitating the October 7 massacre and supporting Hezbollah in the ongoing campaign of terror against Israel.

The IDF released Rear Admiral Hagari’s statement:

Iran-backed Hamas started this war on October 7th; Iran-backed Hezbollah expanded this war on October 8th; and since then, Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria, and Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, have expanded this into a global conflict.

Iran is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terror. Its network of terror doesn’t just threaten the people of Israel, Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria; the regime in Iran fuels the war in Ukraine and beyond.

Iran will bear the consequences for choosing to escalate the situation any further.

Israel is on high alert. We have increased our readiness to protect Israel from further Iranian aggression. We are also prepared to respond.

The Israel Defense Forces is prepared for all scenarios and will take the necessary steps — together with our allies — to protect the people of Israel.”

Judea & Samaria: Tensions rise after body of 14-year-old Jewish boy discovered

Clashes were reported between Jews and Palestinians in the Judea and Samaria region—also referred to as the West Bank—after the body of a missing Jewish teenager was discovered in the area. Benjamin Achimeir, a 14-year-old boy engaged in raising sheep, went missing on Friday from Malachei Shalom, a Jewish community near the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank town Ramallah.

Police drones located the boy’s body in a nearby field after 24 hours of searching. The child was murdered by Palestinian terrorists, initial investigation indicates. More details surrounding the gruesome killing are yet to be revealed.

The Times of Israel reported:

The Israel Defense Forces on Saturday found the body of a 14-year-old Israeli who went missing while shepherding in the West Bank a day earlier, as renewed clashes were reported between settlers and Palestinians.

Jerusalem resident Benjamin Achimeir was murdered in a terror attack, the IDF and Shin Bet security agency said in a joint statement. (…)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued a similar plea, but also specifically warned the public: “Revenge attacks will make it harder for our forces in their mission. Do not take the law into your own hands.”

According to the IDF, Achimeir set out in the early morning hours of Friday from a farm near the outpost of Malachei Shalom to go shepherding. Hours later, the sheep returned to “Gal Farm” without him.

Malachei Shalom is located near the West Bank town of al-Mughayyir, northeast of Ramallah.

Achimeir’s body was spotted on Saturday morning by a drone operated by the Border Defense Corps’ 636th Combat Intelligence Collection unit, close to the farm where he initially went missing.

The murder was believed to have been carried out by Palestinian terrorists, and taken place in the late morning hours or early afternoon of Friday, according to an initial investigation.

IDF retaliates after Hezbollah kamikaze drones hit  border areas

The IDF on Saturday fired artillery shells at Hezbollah terror targets after multiple explosive-laden drones struck northern Israel. A military reservist and a civilian were injured in the cross-border drone attack, the Israeli media reported.

i24NEWS reported:

A resident of northern Israel sustained serious injuries on Saturday after an explosive-laden drone, believed to be dispatched by Hezbollah from Lebanon, detonated in a kibbutz located in the Galilee region, according to the Israeli military.

The victim, identified as a member of the Hanita local security team who also served as an IDF reservist, was rushed to a hospital for treatment following the incident.

The Israeli army confirmed that his family has been notified of the situation.

Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militant group based in Lebanon, had previously claimed responsibility for targeting a building utilized by Israeli forces in the border community.

According to Hezbollah’s statement, the group launched suicide drones and rockets from Lebanon towards the northern Israeli community on Saturday afternoon. Sirens alerting residents of incoming drones were sounded in multiple towns near the northern border on two separate occasions.


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