An ambulance is parked outside the Iranian embassy after a suspected Israeli strike on Monday on Iran's consulate, adjacent to the main Iranian embassy building, which Iran said had killed seven military personnel including two key figures in the Quds Force, in the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria April 2, 2024.

Israel On High Alert Amidst Escalating Tensions With Iran

Saturday, 04/13/2024

Israel's heightened state of alert in response to a potential Iranian attack continues for the second consecutive day, Iran International's correspondent in Jerusalem, Ashkan Safaei reports.

Earlier on Saturday, in an English-language video statement Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said, "Iran funds, trains, and arms terror proxies across the Middle East and beyond…Iran will bear the consequences for choosing to escalate the situation any further.” He added that Israel is on high alert, increasing readiness to defend against Iranian aggression and prepared to respond.

The statement by Hagari comes shortly after the IRGC seized an Israeli-linked container ship near Strait of Hormuz today, and reports having surfaced yesterday, notably on ABC News, citing US officials stating that Iran has readied more than 100 cruise missiles for an imminent attack on Israel. Meanwhile, American officials, speaking to CNN, warned of a potential Iranian attack from within its territory with possible involvement of regional proxies in retaliatory strikes, targeting locations in Israel.

International efforts, including those from the United States and supported by European and UK allies, have been focused on de-escalating the situation and maintaining stability in the region.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)

Earlier today, UK foreign secretary David Cameron announced that he spoke to the Israeli minister and war cabinet member Benny Gantz and discussed “our shared concerns about Iranian threats to attack Israel” with Gantz. “Further escalation in the region is in no one’s interest and risks further loss of civilian life,” he added.

Furthermore, the UK Royal Marines stand ready to coordinate a significant evacuation of British citizens from the Middle East in case of an attack on Israel.

In response to the escalating tensions, yesterday, US President Joe Biden reiterated the his commitment to Israel's security while warning of a confirmed retaliatory attack by Iran “sooner than later.". Meanwhile, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken engaged in discussions with his Jordanian counterpart to address the need to prevent further escalation by Iran. The Pentagon reiterated the US commitment to Israel's security against Iranian threats, echoing President Biden's support for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The visit of top US general Michael "Erik" Kurilla to Israel was expedited to address current security concerns, while Republican Senator Joni Ernst commended Biden's support for Israel amid tensions with Iran.

Safaei further reports that according to Israel TV Channel 11, even Hamas is waiting to see Tehran's reaction to the killing of IRGC commanders in Damascus. Meanwhile, Iran International's correspondent in Lebanon, May Farhat reports that Lebanon is also closely monitoring the situation and anticipating Iran's response with reports of increased Hezbollah activity along the Lebanon-Syria border, potentially preparing for military operations in line with Iran's retaliation. On the other hand, speaking to Iran International reporters, Fares Souaid, from the “National Council for the Ending Iranian Occupation" in Lebanon, stated that Iran won't escalate tensions further, attributing the situation to Israel's possible reaction suggesting that Iran prefers proxy conflicts over direct confrontation with Israel.

Several countries, including Germany, India, France, Poland, and Russia have responded by issuing travel warnings for citizens in Iran and suspending flights to the region. Germany has advised its citizens to leave Iran immediately.

Although no concrete evidence of an Iranian attack on Israel has been determined so far other than psychological warfare tactics, Israel's heightened alertness underscores the precarious situation in the region, with the specter of conflict looming amidst escalating tensions with Iran.

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