World leaders are urging Israel not to retaliate after Iran launched an attack involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron told the BBC on Monday the U.K. does not support a retaliatory strike, while French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris will try to “convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating.”

The Iranian attack on Saturday, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

An Israeli military spokesman said that 99% of the drones and missiles launched by Iran were intercepted.

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s six-month war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The war erupted after Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two militant groups backed by Iran, carried out a devastating cross-border attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others.

An Israeli offensive in Gaza has caused widespread devastation and killed over 33,700 people, according to local health officials.

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Iran’s attack on Israel raised fears of a wider war, but all sides in the conflict also scored gains.

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Here is the latest:

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CONDEMNS IRAN’S ATTACK

BERLIN -– Austria’s foreign minister has spoken with his Iranian counterpart to condemn Tehran’s attack on Israel and call on Iran to rein in its proxies in the Middle East.

Alexander Schallenberg said in a statement he told Iran’s Hossein Amirabdollahian on Monday that “we cannot afford another front in the Middle East. There would only be losers, in the region and beyond.”

Schallenberg said he also urged Amirabdollahian to “exercise Iran’s influence on proxies in the region.”

Austria hosted talks on Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.

Amirabdollahian already spoke on Sunday with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. A spokesperson for Baerbock, Christian Wagner, said Iran’s ambassador to Germany was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin on Monday.

OIL PRICES FALL AFTER IRAN’S STRIKE ON ISRAEL IS THWARTED

Oil prices fell on Monday after Iran’s missile and drone strike failed to cause widespread damage in Israel and the U.S. administration made it clear it did not support a wider war with Iran.

Analysts say the chief risk to oil prices from the Israel-Hamas war is if the conflict escalates and disrupts oil supplies from Iran and Persian Gulf producers through the Strait of Hormuz choke point.

The stance taken by Iran, which said the matter “can be deemed concluded” with the retaliatory strikes, and the U.S. position reassured oil traders, who sent the price of international benchmark Brent crude 0.7% lower to $89.82 per barrel in Monday morning trading. That is below the levels just above $90 per barrel seen on Friday before the weekend attacks.

Risks that could send prices higher include any Israeli strike against Iranian oil facilities or tougher enforcement of sanctions against Iran by the U.S. “Any retaliation by Israel … especially one that targets Iran’s oil facilities, will have major implications for energy markets,” said analysts at S&P Global.

Tougher sanctions enforcement against Iranian oil shipments by the U.S. could raise oil prices but would risk higher inflation and pump prices for U.S. motorists in an election year.

4 ISRAELI SOLDIERS WOUNDED IN A BLAST ALONG THE BORDER WITH LEBANON

TEL AVIV — The Israeli military says four soldiers were wounded by an explosion along the northern border with Lebanon.

The military said that the source of the explosion, which occurred overnight, was still unclear. It left one soldier severely wounded, two moderately wounded, and one with light injuries.

The Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said Monday that mines they set up in southern Lebanon near the border detonated after Israeli ground troops encroached on Lebanese territory, incurring casualties.

The incident comes as tensions in the region soared after an Iranian air assault was thwarted by Israel and its allies. Israel has not said whether it will respond.

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza on Oct. 7, concerns have grown that near-daily clashes along the border between Israel and Hezbollah could escalate into a full-scale war.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR CALLS ON ISRAEL TO CONTRIBUTE TO DE-ESCALATION

BERLIN -– German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is calling on Israel to “contribute to de-escalation” in the Middle East following Iran’s attack on the country.

Scholz told reporters in Shanghai on Monday that “Iran must stop this aggression.”

Asked whether he will attempt to dissuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from a military response to Saturday night’s attack, he said there’s widespread agreement that Israel’s success in largely repelling the attack with allies’ help was “really impressive.”

He added that “this is a success that perhaps also should not be thrown away. Hence also our advice to contribute to de-escalation themselves.”

Germany is a staunch ally of Israel.

AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS URGE ISRAEL, IRAN TO AVOID ESCALATION

KAMPALA, Uganda — Some African governments are urging Israel and Iran to avoid an escalation of the conflict.

While Iran’s attack on Israel “represents a real and present threat to international peace and security,” Israel should “show utmost restraint” in its response, President William Ruto of Kenya said in a statement posted on social platform X.

The warring parties “must exercise the utmost restraint and avoid any act that would escalate tensions in a particularly fragile region,” South Africa’s government said in a statement Sunday.

Nigeria’s Foreign Ministry urged Israel and Iran to “reflect on the universal commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts.”

GAZA HEALTH MINISTRY REPORTS 68 DEAD IN LAST 24 HOURS

CAIRO — The Health Ministry in Gaza on Monday said the bodies of 68 people killed in Israel’s bombardment have been brought to hospitals in the past 24 hours. Another 94 were wounded, it said.

The fresh fatalities brought the death toll in the strip to 33,797 since the war began on Oct. 7, it said. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants, but said two thirds of the dead are children and women.

Another 76,456 were wounded in the war, the ministry said.

The ministry said many casualties remain under the rubble and first responders have been unable to retrieve them amid the relentless bombing.

Israel launched its war on Hamas after the militant group’s complex attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7. Israeli authorities say 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and roughly 250 people taken hostage in the attack. Israel says it has killed 12,000 militants in its offensive, without providing evidence.

ISRAELI MILITARY WARNS PALESTINIANS NOT TO RETURN TO NORTHERN GAZA

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — The Israeli military renewed warnings on Monday for Palestinians in Gaza not to return to the embattled territory’s north, a day after five people were killed trying to reach their homes in the war-torn area.

The military said Palestinians should stay in southern Gaza where they have been told to shelter because the north is a “dangerous combat zone,” Israeli military spokesman Avichay Adraee wrote on social platform X.

On Sunday, hundreds of Palestinians sheltering in central Gaza headed north in an attempt to return to their homes. Throngs of people were seen crowding a seaside road.

Hospital authorities in Gaza said five people were shot by Israeli forces while trying to head north. The Israeli military had no immediate comment and the precise circumstances behind the deaths were not immediately clear.

The returnees said they were prompted to make the journey north because they were fed up with the difficult conditions they are forced to live under while displaced.

Northern Gaza was an early target in Israel’s war against Hamas, which it launched in response to the militant group’s deadly Oct. 7 attack. The military is still operating in the north in a bid to stamp out militants that have regrouped.

Vast parts of northern Gaza have been flattened by Israel’s offensive and much of its population displaced.

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY URGES ISRAEL TO AVOID STRIKING BACK AT IRAN

LONDON — British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has urged Israel “to be smart as well as tough” and avoid striking back at Iran in response to its drone and missile barrage.

Cameron told the BBC that the U.K. does not support a retaliatory strike. The U.K.’s top diplomat said the attack had been a defeat for Iran and echoed President Joe Biden, who urged Israel to “take the win.”

Cameron said Britain’s message to Israel is: “Now is the time to be smart as well as tough, to think with head as well as heart.”

He said British fighter jets had played an “important part” in shooting down some of the more than 300 ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones fired at Israel from Iran, but did not provide details.

MACRON SAYS IRAN’S ATTACK ON ISRAEL WAS A ‘DISPROPORTIONATE RESPONSE’

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron said Iran’s attack on Israel was a “disproportionate response” to the bombing of its consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Firing a barrage of missiles and drones on Israel was an “unprecedented, very dangerous” act in the volatile Middle East, Macron said of Saturday’s attacks.

Speaking to French media BFMTV and RMC on Monday, Macron said that France had carried out “interceptions” of missiles that Iran aimed at Israel at the request of Jordan.

“We have condemned, we have intervened, we will do everything to avoid an escalation, an inferno,” Macron said.

He said France will try to “convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating.”

Instead of retaliating by attacking Tehran, France will work to “isolate Iran, increase sanctions and find a path to peace in the region,” Macron said.

GERMAN FM TELLS IRANIAN COUNTERPART NOT TO FURTHER ESCALATE TENSIONS

PARIS – Germany’s foreign minister says she has made “unmistakably” clear to her Iranian counterpart that Tehran must not further escalate tensions in the Middle East.

Annalena Baerbock spoke by phone Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, following a previous conversation last week before Iran’s attack on Israel. She said she “warned him unmistakably against a further escalation.”

She said at a news conference in Paris on Monday that “Iran is isolated.” She added that “Israel won in a defensive way” thanks to its strong air defense and the intervention of the U.S., Britain and Arab countries.

Baerbock said that “it is now important to secure this defensive victory diplomatically” and prevent a regional confrontation.

Asked whether Israel has the right to strike back against Iran, Baerbock said that “the right to self-defense means fending off an attack; retaliation is not a category in international law.” She said she had made that point to Amirabdollahian last week.

SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS EMERGENCY MEETING ON IRAN ATTACK. NO ACTION TAKEN

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss Iran’s attack on Israel. The meeting ended without any action by the council.

“Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said. “Now is the time for maximum restraint.”

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan told the council: “Last night, the world witnessed an unprecedented escalation that serves as the clearest proof for what happens when warnings aren’t heeded. Israel is not the boy who cried wolf.”

Iranian Ambassador Saeid Iravani said: “Iran’s operation was entirely in the exercise of Iran’s inherent right to self-defense. This concluded action was necessary and proportionate.

U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood said after the meeting ended, “There has to be a Security Council response to what happened last night.”

ISRAELI MILITARY LIFTS RESTRICTIONS, SAYS SCHOOLS CAN REOPEN

The Israeli military says children can return to school after lifting a series of restrictions on public activities that were imposed ahead of Sunday’s Iranian missile strike.

The military’s Home Front command late Saturday canceled school and limited the size of public gatherings as a safety precaution ahead of the missile attack.

Monday’s announcement reflected the determination that the threat of further attacks has passed.

The Home Front Command says the changes went into effect at midnight.

BIDEN SPEAKS WITH JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH II

The White House says President Joe Biden spoke by phone Sunday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II about the situation in the Middle East.

Biden strongly condemned the attack launched by Iran, which the White House says also “threatened Jordan and the Jordanian people.” Both leaders said they continue to monitor the situation and will remain in close touch over the coming days.

They also discussed the situation in Gaza, and reaffirmed their cooperation to increase critical humanitarian assistance to Gaza and to find a path to end the crisis as soon as possible.

ISRAEL’S PRESIDENT SAYS RESPONSE TO IRAN ATTACK SHOWED ‘IRONCLAD’ ALLIANCE BETWEEN ISRAEL, US

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said on CNN Sunday afternoon that the last 24 hours had shown the “ironclad” alliance between the U.S. and Israel.

Herzog was referring to the Iranian drone and missile attack on Israel less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building. Israel and its coalition of partners, including the U.S., were able to defeat 99% of the munitions.

“We can argue on many things and it’s legitimate,” Herzog said. “We have our objectives and we are a small nation. The United States is a world superpower, has its interests. But at the end we must have a dialogue.”

Herzog, referring to the Hamas attack on Israel in October and Israel’s response, said everyone who watches and analyzes Israel must understand that “we have been met by an empire of evil. It’s true. It’s absolutely true. Our citizens were raped and butchered and burned and tortured and abducted in an unbelievably unprecedented massacre.”

Herzog then called it a “Hamas-acre.”

He said Israel is working closely with the U.S. and other allies on the situation in Gaza.

US SAYS IRAN’S ATTACK ON ISRAEL CLEARLY INTENDED TO CAUSE ‘SIGNIFICANT’ DAMAGE, DEATH

WASHINGTON — Senior Biden administration officials said Sunday it was clear Iran’s attack on Israel was intended to cause significant damage and death, and U.S. officials had been in regular contact with their Israeli counterparts.

Israel and its coalition of partners were able to defeat 99% of the munitions, a senior administration official. If the assault had been successful, “this attack could have cause an uncontrollable escalation of broader regional conflict.”

The heads of the G7 leading industrialized nations on their call Sunday were “totally united” in the condemnation of Iran and need to hold Iran to account for the assault, the official said.

Biden in his call with Netanyahu reaffirmed his unwavering support for Israel’s defense, the official said, but then told the prime minister “that Israel really came out far ahead in this exchange.”

ISRAEL ACTIVATING TWO RESERVE BRIGADES FOR OPERATIONS IN GAZA

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says it is activating two reserve brigades for “operational activities” in Gaza.

Sunday’s announcement comes as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Rafah – the southern Gaza city that Israel says is Hamas’ last major stronghold.

Israel last week withdrew most of its remaining ground forces from Gaza after six months of war, leaving its troop levels in the territory at the lowest level in months.

The Rafah invasion faces stiff international opposition, in large part because over 1 million people, roughly half of Gaza’s population, are now crowded into the city after fleeing fighting elsewhere in the territory. They say they have nowhere else to go.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is determined to complete the Gaza operation. He says Israel has even set a date for the operation and claimed that Israel has a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah.

G7 COUNTRIES CONDEMN IRAN’S ATTACK ON ISRAEL

ROME — Leaders of the G7 — the informal gathering of industrialized countries that includes the United States, United Kingdom and France — issued a statement Sunday “unequivocally condemning in the strongest terms Iran’s direct and unprecedented attack against Israel.”

The statement came after the leaders met in a video conference hosted by the Italian presidency.

“Iran fired hundreds of drones and missiles towards Israel. Israel, with the help of its partners, defeated the attack,” the statement reads. “We express our full solidarity and support to Israel and its people and reaffirm our commitment towards its security.”

The group also stressed that Iran “with its actions, has further stepped toward the destabilization of the region and risks provoking an uncontrollable regional escalation.”

The G7 leaders said that scenario must be avoided.

“We will continue to work to stabilize the situation and avoid further escalation. In this spirit, we demand that Iran and its proxies cease their attacks, and we stand ready to take further measures now and in response to further destabilizing initiatives,” they said.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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