Israel plans ‘painful’ strike on Iran without casualties

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How Iran’s attack on Israel unfolded – minute by minute

Israel is planning a “painful” strike on Iran that does not cause casualties, according to leaks from the prime minister’s war cabinet.

Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly asked the Israel Defense Forces to draw up a list of targets that Israel could choose to hit that the US would not object to.

A carefully calibrated response to Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone attack on Sunday could come in the form of a precision strike on a facility in Tehran, or a cyber attack, the Washington Post reported, citing an Israeli official familiar with the sensitive discussions.

“Everybody agrees that Israel must respond,” the official said. “How to respond, when to respond, is the question.”

Israel’s Channel 12 news claimed the war cabinet had agreed to strike back at Iran “clearly and forcefully,” and that several options had been discussed that would be “painful” but unlikely to trigger a regional war.

The war cabinet is also aiming to find a way to retaliate against Iran that won’t be blocked by the United States, the broadcaster reported, after Joe Biden told Mr Netanyahu that Washington would not support an Israeli counter-attack.

Israel's war cabinet met on Monday to discuss a retaliation against Iran
Israel's war cabinet met on Monday to discuss a retaliation against Iran - Anadolu

Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defence minister, on Monday told his US counterpart that Israel has no choice but to respond to Iran’s attack, which was thwarted with help from the United States and Britain.

Mr Netanyahu has still not publicly commented on the plan for retaliation, and the war cabinet is due to reconvene on Tuesday morning.

Hardliners in the cabinet late on Sunday night said Israel must go “berserk” on Iran, and should not waste time with its retaliation for Iran’s first ever direct attack on Israel.

“Ideas of containment and moderation are the perceptions that ended on Oct 7,” Itamar Ben-Gvir, the national security minister and leader of the most popular Right-wing party, said in a statement late on Sunday.

“To create a deterrent in the Middle East, Israel has got to show that it is prepared to go berserk.”

06:24 PM BST

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Thank you for following our live coverage of the Middle East crisis.

We will be back with the latest updates tomorrow.

06:17 PM BST

Israel ‘on its own’ if it launches military attack on Iran, says US

Israel has been told been told by Washington that if it launches a retaliatory military attack on Iran, it is on its own, writes David Millward, US Correspondent.

The message was delivered by US defence secretary Lloyd Austin to his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant, ABC News reported.

Asked whether the US would help Israel in a counter offensive, a Washington official said: “We would not envision ourselves participating in such a thing.”

Following the Iran attack, the Biden administration said its support for Israel was “ironclad”.

But the refusal to join Israel in striking back was made clear to the Netanyahu government in a very “direct” manner, an official said.

05:55 PM BST

US condemns West Bank killings

The United States strongly condemns the killing of Israeli teenager Binyamin Achimair and is increasingly concerned by the violence against Palestinians and their property that ensued in the occupied West Bank after his death, the State Department has said.

That violence resulted in the killing of two Palestinians, Jihad Abu Aliya, 25, and Omar Ahmad Abdulghani Hamed, 17, the department said in a statement. “We strongly condemn these murders,” it added.

“The violence must stop. Civilians are never legitimate targets. We call on the authorities to take measures to protect all communities from harm, and we urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to do everything possible to de-escalate tensions,” the department said.

05:44 PM BST

Biden: US remains ‘committed’ to Israel’s security

Joe Biden said the United States was “committed” to Israel’s security and a ceasefire in Gaza, writes Tony Diver in Washington.

Speaking at a meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shyaa Al-Sudani, at the White House, the US president addressed America’s involvement in defending Israel from Saturday’s attack by Iran.

“Together with our partners, we defeated that attack,” he said.  “The United States is committed to a ceasefire that will bring the hostages home and prevent the conflict from spreading…than it already has.”

He added that “the United States is committed” to Israel’s security and that the US-Iraqi relationship was critical for the region and the world.

He did not answer questions from reporters.

05:30 PM BST

Netanyahu asks IDF for list of targets that would not cause casualties

Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly asked the Israel Defense Forces to provide a list of targets that it could strike, but that wouldn’t cause casualties.

Israel’s war cabinet ended a meeting earlier this afternoon at which ministers deliberated how to respond to Iran’s attack.

Mr Netanyahu is looking at options that would “send a message” to Tehran, including a possible strike on a facility in the Iranian capital, or a cyber attack, the Washington Post reported, citing an Israeli official familiar with the sensitive discussions.

“Everybody agrees that Israel must respond,” the official said. “How to respond, when to respond, is the question.”

05:09 PM BST

Pictured: Israeli troops on the Gaza border

Israeli soldiers exit an armored personnel carrier near the border with the Gaza
Israeli soldiers exit an armored personnel carrier near the border with the Gaza - Amir Levy/Getty Images Europe
Israeli soldiers launch a reconnaisance drone from southern Israel
Israeli soldiers launch a reconnaisance drone from southern Israel - Amir Levy/Getty Images Europe

05:00 PM BST

France summons Iranian ambassador

France has summoned the Iranian ambassador to condemn the attack on Israel.

“He was reminded, with the greatest firmness, of France’s condemnation of the attack,” the French foreign ministry said, adding that France was working with its partners to de-escalate the situation and calling on everyone to exercise restraint.

04:47 PM BST

Israel’s war cabinet finishes discussing potential responses to Iran attack

Israel’s war cabinet has finished a meeting that was called to discuss a potential retaliation to Sunday’s attack by Iran, writes Nataliya Vasilyeva in Jerusalem.

The ministers did not appear to reach a conclusion on what the response should be, according to Israeli media.

Several options are on the table for a “painful” retaliation against Iran that should not spark off a regional conflict, Israel’s Channel 12 reported.

It is also understood that Israel would only go for an option that would not face opposition from Washington, which has warned against any actions that could trigger further escalation.

04:38 PM BST

Iranian attack on Israel ‘legitimate’, says Malaysian PM

Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone attack on Israel was “legitimate,” Malaysia’s prime minister has said.

Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the Muslim-majority country, urged Israel “not to take any further retaliation that will aggravate tensions in the Middle East”.

“The launching of the drones by Iran is a legitimate act following the barbarous attack by the Israeli Zionist regime against the Iranian embassy in Damascus,” Mr Anwar said, referring to the strike on Tehran’s consulate in the Syrian capital that killed several Iranian generals.

Mr Anwar has previously defended Malaysia’s ties with Hamas.

He stressed during a visit to Germany last month that Malaysia’s links were with the terror group’s political wing and not with its military arm.

“I make no apologies about it,” he said at the time.

04:21 PM BST

Belgium summons Iranian ambassador

The Belgian foreign ministry said it had summoned The Iranian ambassador to condemn the Iranian attack on Israel.

“This attack endangers regional stability and the population, and takes us further away from peace. I call on all parties to exercise the greatest restraint,” Hadja Lahbib, the Belgian foreign minister, said.

04:08 PM BST

Sunak to speak with Netanyahu and call for ‘restraint’

Rishi Sunak has said he will soon speak with Benjamin Netanyahu about how to prevent escalation in the region after Iran’s drone and missile attack.

“I will also shortly be speaking to Prime Minister Netanyahu to express our solidarity with Israel in the face of this attack, and to discuss how we can prevent further escalation,” Mr Sunak told parliament.

“All sides must show restraint,” he added.

03:57 PM BST

Sunak set out three steps to ‘put region on better path’

Rishi Sunak set out his three vital steps to “put the region on to a better path”.

The Prime Minister told the Commons:

“I believe there are three vital steps to put the region onto a better path. First we must uphold regional security against hostile actors including in the Red Sea, and we must ensure Israel’s security - that is non-negotiable. It is a fundamental condition for peace in the region. In the face of threats like we saw this weekend, Israel has our full support.

“Second we must invest more deeply in the two state solution, that is what we have been doing over the past six months, including working closely with the Palestinian authority so that when the time comes they can provide more effective governance for Gaza and the West Bank.

“It is significant that other regional partners actually help to prevent a much worse attack over the weekend, it reminds us how important the attempts to normalise relations between Israel and its neighbours really are, and it holds out precious hope for the region.

“Third, the conflict in Gaza must end, Hamas which is backed by Iran started this war, they wanted not just to kill and murder but to destabilise the whole region.”

03:54 PM BST

G7 ‘united in condemnation’

Rishi Sunak said his fellow G7 leaders are “united in our condemnation of this attack” by Iran, adding to MPs: “We discussed further potential diplomatic measures which we’ll be working together to co-ordinate in the coming days.

“I will also shortly be speaking to prime minister Netanyahu to express our solidarity with Israel in the face of this attack and to discuss how we can prevent further escalation.

“All sides must show restraint.”

03:48 PM BST

Middle East conflict in “no one’s interest”, Starmer says

Sir Keir Starmer told the House of Commons that a conflict in the Middle East is “in no one’s interest”.

The Labour leader said that the “combined action this weekend was a success and because of that lives were saved”.

Sir Keir went on to call for restraint from all involved in the conflict.

“Israel must now show the same strength and courage to de-escalate,” he said.

03:46 PM BST

Keir Starmer addresses MPs

Sir Keir Starmer is now speaking in the House of Commons.

The Labour leader said that he supports the actions taken by the RAF to defend Israel and the sending of British planes to the area.

“Their efforts are vital for a safer world,” he said.

03:44 PM BST

Sunak renews calls for a two-state solution

Rishi Sunak has called for more investment “in the two-state solution” as he addressed MPs.

“I want to be clear, nothing that has happened over the last 48 hours changes our position on Gaza,” he said.

Mr Sunak added that the “whole country” wants to “see an end to the bloodshed”.

He called for more humanitarian aid to pass into Gaza as he remembered the British volunteers killed delivering aid recently.

Mr Sunak described John Chapman, 57, James Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47 from the World Central Kitchen as “heroes”.

03:40 PM BST

Iran ‘sought to plunge Middle East into new crisis’, says Sunak

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, told MPs in the House of Commons that Iran sought to “plunge the Middle East into a new crisis” when they attacked Israel late on Saturday.

“It was a reckless and dangerous escalation… The fallout and toll on Israeli citizens would have been catastrophic,” he said.

Mr Sunak confirmed the RAF destroyed a number of Iranian drones and provided intelligence and reconnaissance support to Israel.

He reaffirmed British support for Israel and added that Iran is “intent on sowing chaos in their backyard”.

03:36 PM BST

Rishi Sunak speaking live from parliament

The Prime Minister is speaking in parliament on Iran’s recent attack on Israel. We will bring updates as they come and you can watch live via the video at the top of this page.

03:29 PM BST

Pictured: Palestinians surrounded by rubble

Palestinians have been photographed surrounded by destroyed buildings in Gaza.

Palestinians inspect the destroyed buildings after the Israeli attack on Al-Maghazi refugee camp
Palestinians inspect the destroyed buildings after the Israeli attack on Al-Maghazi refugee camp
A man walks through rubble by a heavily damaged building in the eastern side of the Maghazi camp
A man walks through rubble by a heavily damaged building in the eastern side of the Maghazi camp - AFP via Getty Images

03:01 PM BST

Italy ‘open to new G7 sanctions on Israel’s enemies’

Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven major democracies (G7), is open to new sanctions against individuals engaged against Israel following the Iranian drone and missile attack, its foreign minister said on Monday.

Iran launched explosive drones and fired missiles at Israel late on Saturday in retaliation for an attack on its embassy compound in Damascus, fuelling fears of a wider regional conflict bursting out of the Israel-Hamas war.

Antonio Tajani told Reuters: “If we need to have more sanctions for people clearly engaged against Israel, supporting for example terrorism, supporting Hamas, it is possible to do it. But we need to be very serious and to work all together.”

02:41 PM BST

Watch: Displaced Gazans head north

Displaced Gazans have been seen heading north to return home.

02:17 PM BST

BBC’s Nick Robinson ‘should have been clearer’ in comments on Gaza attacks

BBC presenter Nick Robinson has said he “should have been clearer” when describing Israel attacks in Gaza as “murders” that it was not his view or that of the corporation.

Mr Robinson addressed the push-back he received after interviewing David Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, on Monday’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme about the words he used.

In a post to X, formerly Twitter, he wrote: “My final question was about the perceived “morality” of the government’s position - in particular the “risk” that their position could “appear” to look like active support for Israel when it is under attack but nothing other than words “when Israel attacks or murders tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians”.

“I should have been clearer that I was not expressing my own view let alone that of the BBC when I used the words “murders”.

“In this 15 minute long interview I asked the Foreign Secretary why ministers had supported Israel militarily; why they didn’t go further & support Israel in confronting Iran; why they weren’t tougher in confronting Israel over Gaza and ended with that question about the perceived “morality” and the “risk” of how the government’s position “appears”.

“It was a lengthy and detailed exploration of the policy choices made by the Government.”

01:51 PM BST

US Centcom forces intercept four Houthi UAVs

The US Central Command (Centcom) said on Monday its forces destroyed four uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on April 14, acting in self-defence.

Centcom added in a Red Sea update that Houthi militants launched an anti-ship ballistic missile toward the Gulf of Aden from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen on Saturday and that there were no injuries or damage reported by US, coalition, or commercial ships.

01:31 PM BST

Aid to Gaza has increased dramatically, says White House

Humanitarian aid arriving in Gaza has increased dramatically in the last few days, John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, said, adding that the US needs to see that aid sustained.

“The aid has increased and quite dramatically in just the last few days,” Mr Kirby said in an interview with MSNBC. “That’s important but it has to be sustained.”

More than 2,000 trucks have been able to get in, with around 100 entering in the past 24 hours alone, he added.

His comments came after Washington threatened to render its support for Israel conditional on the country permitting greater aid into the war-torn region.

In a separate interview on CNBC, Mr Kirby reiterated this stance, stating: “Our policy with respect to Gaza will change if we don’t see significant changes over time.”

12:57 PM BST

UK dismisses Iran assertion it gave warning before attacking Israel

Britain rejects an assertion by Iran that it provided advance notice before attacking Israel, a spokesman for Rishi Sunak said on Monday.

Hossein Amirabdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Minister, said on Sunday that Iran gave neighbouring countries and Israel’s ally the United States 72-hours notice it would launch the strikes.

“I would reject that characterisation,” Mr Sunak’s spokesman told reporters. “And more broadly we condemn in the strongest possible terms their direct attack against Israel.”

12:41 PM BST

Hezbollah claims attack on Israeli troops who had crossed border

Lebanon’s Hezbollah claimed on Monday it had detonated “explosive devices” targeting Israeli soldiers who the group said had crossed into Lebanese territory.

Israel’s army said four soldiers were wounded overnight in an explosion “in the area of the northern border”, but without specifying on which side of the frontier.

One of the soldiers was “severely injured” it said.

It was the first time Hezbollah claimed such an attack in six months of near-daily cross-border clashes between the Iran-backed group and Israel since the Gaza war broke out.

Hezbollah fighters “planted explosive devices in the Tal Ismail area” inside Lebanon, detonating them after Israeli soldiers “crossed the border”, the group said in a statement.

12:22 PM BST

Germany summons Iranian ambassador

Germany on Monday summoned the Iranian ambassador, a day after Tehran sent for the German, French and British envoys over their countries’ response to Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel.

“I can inform you that the Iranian ambassador has been summoned to the foreign ministry this morning and that the talks are currently taking place,” a spokesman for the ministry told a regular government press conference, without specifying what issue would be raised.

12:06 PM BST

Biggest single disruption to air travel since 9/11

Global airlines continue to face disruption this morning following what has been called the biggest single disruption to air travel since 9/11.

Mark Lee, the founder of OPSGROUP, which monitors airspace and airports, said Iran’s drone and missile attack on Israel has led to the largest single disruption to the sector since the attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001.

His comments came as Europe’s aviation regulator reaffirmed advice to airlines to exercise caution when flying through Israeli and Iranian airspace.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it and the European Commission would “continue to closely monitor the situation to assess any potential safety risks for EU aircraft operators and be ready to act as appropriate”.

KLM, the Dutch airline, has cancelled all flights to and from Tel Aviv until tomorrow, while at least a dozen airlines have had to cancel or reroute flights in the past two days, including Qantas, Germany’s Lufthansa, United Airlines and Air India.

10:57 AM BST

Kremlin ‘extremely concerned’ about Middle East escalation

The Kremlin has said it is “extremely concerned” about an escalation in hostilities between Israel and Iran, as it urged both sides to show restraint.

“We are extremely concerned about the escalation of tensions in the region,”  Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, told reporters. “We call on all countries in the region to exercise restraint.”

Mr Peskov called on both parties to resolve the the simmering crisis through diplomatic means, rather than resorting to retaliatory strikes. “Further escalation is in no one’s interests. Therefore, of course, we advocate that all disagreements be resolved exclusively by political and diplomatic methods,” he said.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, spoke on the phone with his Iranian counterpart on Sunday, as Moscow refrained from criticising its ally in public over the strikes.

10:45 AM BST

Middle East ‘on cliff edge’, says EU foreign policy chief

The European Union’s foreign policy chief said the Middle East stands “on the edge of the cliff” as he called for de-escalation between Israel and Iran.

Josep Borrell told Spanish radio station Onda Cero: “We’re on the edge of the cliff and we have to move away from it. We have to step on the brakes and reverse gear.”

Mr Borrell said he expected a response from Israel to Iran’s unprecedented attack but hoped it would not spark further escalation. He added there was “profound division” within Israel’s Right-wing governing coalition between hardliners seeking fierce retaliation and a “more moderate and sensible” faction.

That faction advocates for retaliation, Mr Borrell said, “but in a way that avoids a response to the response”.

Mr Borrell, who spoke with Hossein Amirabdollahian, the Iranian foreign minister, late on Sunday, said the EU needed to have the best possible relations with Iran despite sanctions placed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear ambitions and human rights abuses.

“It’s in everyone’s interest that Iran does not become a nuclear power and that the Middle East is pacified,” he said.

10:38 AM BST

Germany calls for de-escalation

Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, has urged restraint by Israel after it successfully repelled Iran’s unprecedented drone and missile attack.

“Everyone agrees that the way in which Israel managed to successfully repel this attack... is really impressive,” said Mr Scholz, adding: “that is a success that should not be given away, and therefore our advice is to contribute to de-escalation.”

His comments were echoed by Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister, who said Israel’s “defensive victory” over Iran must be secured via diplomatic means.

“Israel has won defensively thanks to its strong air defence and the efforts of the US, Britain and Arabic states,” Ms Baerbock told a news conference in Paris.

She added: “Now we must prevent an escalation in the region,” before explaining she had spoken to Iran’s foreign minister on Sunday and clearly warned him against further escalation.

10:23 AM BST

Pictured: Wreckage in southern Gaza

Palestinians returning Khan Yunis after Israel withdrawal
Palestinians returning Khan Yunis after Israel withdrawal - Ali Jadallah/Getty Images
A drone captures general destruction in the city of Khan Yunis
A drone captures general destruction in the city of Khan Yunis - Shutterstock
Israel last week withdrew its forces from the region of southern Gaza after weeks of intense fighting
Israel last week withdrew its forces from the region of southern Gaza after weeks of intense fighting - Shutterstock

10:19 AM BST

Iran seized Israeli-linked ship over ‘maritime laws violation’

Iran said it seized an Israel-linked vessel on Saturday over a “maritime laws violation”.

Footage of the incident shared by Iranian state media showed Iranian troops rappelling from a helicopter onto the deck of the MSC Aries cargo ship, which was sailing under a Portuguese flag.

Nasser Kanaani, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said: “Iran strives to create a safe shipping environment in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf. The vessel was diverted into Iran’s territorial waters as a result of it violating maritime laws and not answering calls made by Iranian authorities.”

10:14 AM BST

Iran urges West to ‘appreciate restraint’ towards Israel

Tehran has called on Western nations to “appreciate Iran’s restraint” towards Israel after it launched an unprecedented attack against its rival in response to a deadly strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Nasser Kanani, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said: “Instead of making accusations against Iran, [Western] countries should blame themselves and answer to public opinion for the measures they have taken against the...war crimes committed by Israel.”

Mr Kanani added that Western countries “should appreciate Iran’s restraint in recent months”.

Iran said it had informed the United States and gave a 72-hour warning to neighbouring countries ahead of what it called its “limited” attack on Israel, but said no prearranged deal was made with any country regarding how Tehran would carry out its strike.

The aim of Iran’s actions was to “create a deterrent in the aim to prevent the repetition of the actions of the Zionist regime and to defend [Iranian] interests”, Mr Kanani added.

10:04 AM BST

EU to discuss placing fresh sanctions on Iran

The European Union will discuss whether to hit Iran with new sanctions after the Islamic Republic launched 300 missiles and drones at Israel over the weekend.

But hardline views within the bloc will likely be watered down by a wider international effort to prevent an escalation between Israel and Iran.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, who has been keen to soften sanctions talk in favour of keeping diplomacy open with Tehran, warned Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian “not to escalate further”.

Charles Michel, the European Council’s president, who attended a meeting of G7 leaders over the weekend, added: “We will continue all our efforts to work towards de-escalation.”

The strikes will feature prominently in discussions between EU leaders when they meet for a summit in Brussels later this week.

At their last meeting, they discussed whether to hit Iran with new economic sanctions in response to intelligence warnings that Tehran was preparing to ship ballistic missiles to Russia.

The bloc’s foreign ministers will hold talks via video conference on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the EU’s Aviation Safety Agency has recommended a buffer zone of 100 nautical miles around Israel.

For Iran, it warned: “There continues to be an increased potential for miscalculation and/or misidentification” in airspace over the capital Tehran.

09:53 AM BST

Israel to reconvene war cabinet this morning, reports suggest

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, will reconvene his war cabinet at 2pm (11am GMT) on Monday, a government source said.

The war cabinet, comprising Mr Netanyahu, Yoav Gallant, the defence minister, Benny Gantz, a former defence minister, and several observers, previously met on Sunday night, the source told Reuters.

It comes amid international concern that Israel is planning a response to Iran’s unprecedented attack on Saturday that could further escalate tensions in the region.

09:49 AM BST

Israel ‘not in the business of revenge’

A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in London has said Israel is “not in the business of revenge” but needs to ensure Iran is “deterred” from launching further attacks.

Asked if Israel will heed warnings from its allies calling for restraint, Orly Goldschmidt told Sky News: “We are listening very carefully to our allies, we’re taking what they’re saying into consideration but, at the end of the day, we will have to defend ourselves against this Iranian threat.”

Ms Goldschmidt said she would not comment on what Israel’s response may look like or when it might take place.

“Not revenge, because we’re not in the business of revenge but we want to make sure that they are deterred,” she said.

“What happened on Saturday cannot happen on a daily basis, on a weekly basis. We have to understand that it’s not a new normal that can happen in the Middle East, we have to make sure that the Iranians understand and they are deterred.”

09:39 AM BST

Israel accuses UN of spreading Hamas ‘propaganda’

Israel has accused the UN of spreading Hamas ‘propaganda’ over concerns that aid trucks entering Gaza are only half-full, writes Dominic Penna.

“That’s just a UN ruse,” David Mencer, an Israeli spokesman, told BBC Radio 4’s Today. “The issue here is distribution. The UN is hopelessly inefficient at distributing aid.”

Asked about the extent of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where Samantha Power, the head of the US agency for international development, has said famine is already under way, Mr Mencer cautioned against taking such warnings at face value.

“You must not take this sort of propaganda at face value. This is what Hamas wants you to believe. There are 500 trucks right now waiting to be picked up on the Gazan side of the border full to the brim,” he said.

Israel has recently opened a new Northern Crossing to funnel aid into the war-torn territory instead of re-opening the Erez crossing, amid concerns that Israeli protesters would block trucks from passing through.

09:22 AM BST

Pictured: Israel’s military staff

Israel's military chief Herzi Halevi (left) attending a situational assessment with members of the General Staff
Israel's military chief Herzi Halevi (left) attending a situational assessment with members of the General Staff - Getty Images/AFP

09:04 AM BST

RAF jets could defend Israel again, says Lord Cameron

Lord Cameron has suggested RAF fighter jets could be used to defend Israel again, despite warning against retaliation.

Asked whether British forces could again be involved in fending off another Iranian strike, Lord Cameron told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “If they come under attack, that’s a different issue.”

RAF troops joined US and Israeli pilots in helping to down a barrage of hundreds of missiles and drones fired at Israel at Iran on Saturday night.

Despite continued British support for Israel, the foreign secretary was clear in calling for decrease in tensions. “We are saying very clearly we don’t support a retaliatory strike. We don’t think they should make one.

“What we are saying very clearly to the Israelis is ‘we respect your right to take action, you are an independent, sovereign country’,” he said. “The right thing to do, the tough thing to do now is not to escalate further but to switch the focus back on to getting the hostages home.”

08:50 AM BST

Watch: Damage caused by Iran’s attack

08:43 AM BST

Israel ‘knows what our second retaliation would be’, says Iran ambassador

Iran’s ambassador to the UN has said Israel is aware of what Tehran’s next attack will involve.

Israel “would know what our second retaliation would be... they understand the next one will be most decisive”, Amir Saeid Iravani told Sky News.

Speaking after an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss tensions in the Middle East, he described the promise of an Israeli response as “a threat, not an action”.

His comments came after Israel’s war cabinet convened on Sunday to discuss a potential retaliation against Iran, with one unnamed official vowing a “significant response”, Israel’s Channel 12 reported.

Despite his threats, Mr Iravani suggested Tehran’s strike, which came in response to an Israeli attack on Iran’s consular in Damascus, should draw a line under further escalation by Israel. I think there should be no military response from Israel,” he said.

08:31 AM BST

Lord Cameron: Hamas is to blame for ongoing Gaza war

Hamas is to blame for keeping the Gaza conflict going, Lord Cameron has said.

“Israel has put an offer on the table, which is incredibly difficult for them,” the foreign secretary said, alluding to the proposed release of dozens of prisoners and a pause in fighting. “These are very difficult decisions to make, but they’ve made them.

“And Hamas has rejected that offer. So anyone in any doubt who is responsible for keeping this conflict going, it’s not Israel, it is Hamas, and the focus should be on them.”

08:24 AM BST

Lord Cameron urges Israel: ‘Think with head as well as heart’

Lord Cameron has urged Israel not to retaliate after Iran’s drone and missile attack, saying it should “think with head as well as heart” because Tehran’s strike had been a near total failure.

“I think they’re perfectly justified to think they should respond because they have been attacked, but we are urging them as friends to think with head as well as heart, to be smart as well as tough,” the Foreign Secretary told BBC Radio 4’s the Today programme.

The strike by more than 300 missiles and drones from Iran caused only modest damage in Israel as most were shot down by its Iron Dome defence system with help from the US, Britain, France and Jordan.

08:12 AM BST

UK would consider more sanctions against Iran, says Cameron

Britain would consider further sanctions against Iran, Lord Cameron has said, following its drone and missile attack on Israel.

Asked whether the government would consider more sanctions on Iran, the Foreign Secretary told the BBC: “Yes, absolutely. We already have 400 sanctions on Iran. We put in place a whole new sanctions regime at the end of last year, which is proving very effective.

“We’ve sanctioned the IRGC, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, in its entirety, and we’ll continue to look at what further steps we can do,” he added.

Lord Cameron also said Britain would keep under review whether it should proscribe the IRGC.

08:10 AM BST

Macron: France will do everything to avoid Middle East ‘conflagration’

Emmanuel Macron has said France would help do everything to avoid a “conflagration” in the Middle East following Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone attack.

“We will do everything to avoid... a conflagration,” the French president told the BFMTV news channel, adding that French jets helped repel an Iranian violation of Jordan’s air space during the attack on Saturday night.

08:03 AM BST

IDF ‘downs drone’ headed towards Israel

Israeli fighter jets shot down a drone last night launched towards Israel from the east, the military reported.

The drone’s flight path was tracked throughout the incident, the IDF told the Times of Israel, and no sirens sounded in Israel.

Drones have been launched at Israel by Iran-backed militants in Iraq several times since the outbreak of war in Gaza.

The strike comes as the country remains on red alert following Iran’s major assault on Saturday night involving 170 drones, of which Israel claimed it downed 99 per cent.

07:58 AM BST

‘Crazy’ Iran prepared for war

Iran is “crazier” than the world realises and is ready for the consequences that accompany an outright war, a regime insider has said.

An Iranian source told the Financial Times: “Iran’s message was clear: we’re crazier than you realise and we’re prepared to endure the consequences of war if necessary.

“This is meant to serve as a deterrent and a signal to the US and Israel that ‘enough is enough’.”

Iran launched a massive barrage of drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday, its first ever direct attack against its long-standing rival.

Ahmad Dastmalchian, Iran’s former ambassador to Lebanon, said: “This was an act of punishment that’s now over.

“If they [Israel] commit another mistake, Iran will respond on a much larger scale. But we believe neither the Americans nor the other parties have any interest in broadening the conflict.”

07:40 AM BST

Iran’s attack on Israel ‘disproportionate’, says Macron

Emmanuel Macron has labelled Iran’s retaliatory strike on Israel deploying hundreds of drones and missiles a “disproportionate” response.

“Iran has replied to Israel’s strike in Damascus in disproportionate fashion,” the French president said. “We have to stand by Israel’s side to ensure its protection as best we can.”

Iran’s major strike, its first direct attack on Israeli soil, followed Israel’s bombing of Tehran’s consular in Damascus that killed seven of its Revolutionary Guard.

Mr Macron’s comments came ahead of a planned phone call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu later today, as France stepped up security around Jewish schools and synagogues, partly as a response to the current Middle East crisis.

Gerald Darmanin, the interior minister, wrote on X, formally Twitter: “As Passover approaches and given the current international situation, I have told local officials to significantly step up security at places visited by our Jewish compatriots, especially with regards to synagogues and Jewish schools.”

07:25 AM BST

Pictured: Israel’s talking points at the UN

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan looks at notes as he delivers remarks during a United Nations Security Council meeting
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan looks at notes as he delivers remarks during a United Nations Security Council meeting - CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP
The meeting addressed the situation in the Middle East, including Iran's recent attack against Israel
The meeting addressed the situation in the Middle East, including Iran's recent attack against Israel - CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP

07:22 AM BST

Catch up: Israel calls up two reserve brigades to send to Gaza

The Israeli army has announced it will be recruiting two additional brigades to serve in Gaza, writes Nataliya Vasilyeva.

“Approximately two brigades” of reservists will be called up for operation activities in the territory where fighting has been going on for over six months, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Sunday.

“Their calling will allow the continuous effort and readiness to defend the State of Israel and the security of civilians,” it said.

The announcement was made a week after the IDF pulled its troops from the southern city of Khan Yunis amid expectations that they could be later used for a ground manoeuvre in the southern city of Rafah, something that Israel’s allies have strongly opposed.

Read Nataliya’s full report here.

07:20 AM BST

Catch up: Israel urges UK to proscribe IRGC as terrorist group

Israel has urged allies, including Britain, to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group following the drone and missile attacks on the country, writes Charles Hymas.

On Sunday, Lior Haiat, a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for a terrorist ban on the IRGC as an “initial price” for its “large-scale and unprecedented” aggression against Israel.

The call will increase pressure on the Government with Tory MPs and Labour set to reaffirm their demands for a ban on Monday when Rishi Sunak is expected to give a statement on the Iranian attack to the Commons.

Meanwhile Lord Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires on Sunday. In a statement, a government spokesman reiterated the UK’s condemnation of Iran’s actions and said that the UK “will continue to stand up for Israel’s security”.

Read Charles’s full report here. 

07:19 AM BST

Catch up: RAF Typhoons and bionic helmets helped Israel repel drones

Israel and its allies, including the UK, were preparing for 10 days for an Iranian attack, according to a senior US military official.

Israel claims 99 per cent of the more than 330 drones, cruise and ballistic missiles fired from Iran were shot down.

The RAF jets shot down somewhere between 10 and 20 Shaheed “suicide” drones.

Each aircraft has the capability to carry six medium-range and two short-range air-to-air missiles.

Their precision was aided by the Helmet-Mounted Symbology System, a “bionic” helmet and support system that lets the pilot “see” through the body of the aircraft, giving them a vital advantage when it comes to split-second decision-making.

Read more about the RAF’s role and the technology behind Israel’s defensive strategies.

07:18 AM BST

Catch up: Israel tells UN it reserves the right to retaliate against Iran

Israel has told the UN it has “every right to retaliate” against Iran after Saturday’s barrage of more than 350 drones and missiles.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, told an emergency meeting of the security council on Sunday: “We are surrounded by Iran’s terror proxies. This attack crossed every red line and Israel reserves every right to retaliate.”

Comparing Iran to Nazi Germany, he added: “The Islamic regime of today is no different from the Third Reich and Khamenei [Iranian Supreme Leader] is no different from Adolf Hitler.”

Mr Erdan’s comments come as Israel weighs its options in responding to Iran’s attack on Saturday, which was largely intercepted by Israel, the US, the UK and Jordan.

Joe Biden and other Western leaders have urged Benjamin Netanyahu to show restraint but a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said the country’s war cabinet had already approved “offensive and defensive” operations.

The Iranian ambassador to the UN said Tehran had an “inherent right to respond proportionately” if the US was to join any Israeli military operations against Iran.

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