Photo by Elad Zagman/TPS on 14 April, 2024

Israel ‘Still Intercepting Cruise Missiles’ in Iranian Barrage

Public By Pesach Benson • 14 April, 2024

Jerusalem, 14 April, 2024 (TPS) -- The Israel Defense Forces said its fighter jets were “still intercepting cruise missiles outside the country’s borders” in the early hours of Sunday morning as Iran fired drones and missiles in its first direct attack on Israel.

According to the IDF, more than 200 missiles and drones had been launched.

US military forces intercepted many drones, but did not specify locations, numbers or methods. Jordan, which closed its airspace, also shot down several drones.

Only one person was injured in the barrage, a 10-year-old girl who was injured by falling shrapnel from a missile near the Negev town of Arad. The IDF said that a military base in southern Israel also sustained minor damage.

Sirens sounded in Jerusalem, northern Israel and the Negev, sending Israelis to shelter in safe rooms. Because ballistic missiles are intercepted at higher altitudes, shrapnel can fall over a wider area, the IDF said, explaining the widespread sirens.

The IDF said dozens of ballistic missiles were intercepted by the Arrow 3 air defense system. The Arrow-3 system, which is capable of intercepting missiles in space, made its first interception when it shot down a Houthi ballistic missile in October. It may have been the first time a missile was shot down outside Earth’s atmosphere, but Israel has not confirmed that.

Before the widely expected attack, Israel authorities announced that schools would be closed on Sunday, as was Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Palestinians in Gaza were seen cheering the missiles.

Meanwhile, Iran warned the US not to join Israel in any counter-attack and threatened a harsh response to any country “opens its airspace or territory for attacks on Iran by Israel,” according to Iran’s state-controlled Mehr news agency.

Iran has vowed to avenge an airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus on April 1. Killed in the strike was Quds Force commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and seven other IRGC officers. The attack was widely attributed to Israel, though Jerusalem never confirmed this.