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All Eyes on Israel in the Aftermath of First-ever Direct Iranian Attack

April 15, 2024
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Iran launched more than 300 projectiles, including 120 ballistic missiles, on Israel (illustrative).

Monday, 15 April 2024 | “Mommyyyyyyyyyyyy!” It was the distressed wail of a toddler mid-nightmare that woke me. Surfacing from a fog of sleep, I shuffled to Lily’s bedside, hoping to settle her quickly. That’s when the earth moved. Odd, I thought. Had the construction crew building the park down the road taken to working through the night? (Funny how your mind works when its only half awake.) And then the air raid siren screamed.

It hardly came as a surprise, of course. We all knew an Iranian attack was a matter of when, not if. And every credible intelligence source on the globe had put the timeframe at 24 to 48 hours. In that sense, Iran was nothing if not predictable. We just didn’t know where exactly the ayatollahs would strike and what their weapon of choice would be.

On Friday and Saturday evening, we went to bed prepared. Everyone in Israel did. Plans were made in advance: mom would grab the girls from their beds, while dad helped grandma. Logistics like these are crucial when you’ve got seconds to make it to safety. Bomb shelters were stocked with water, blankets and games for the kids. Some even filled buckets with kitty litter. One wanted to be prepared if the Iranian attack became a protracted affair and nature called.

Oh, make no mistake. This isn’t the first time Israel braced for eminent attack. Far from it. And so the waiting came with the typical Jewish dark humor: “Can Iran please provide a timeline for our annihilation? Do we start cleaning for Passover or not?” What else are you going to do? It’s laugh or cry.

And then it happened. At 23:00 p.m. on Saturday night, Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson (IDF) Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told his people that in the first-ever direct attack on Israel by Iran, the Islamic Republic had launched hundreds of projectiles on the Jewish state. Numerous fighter jets had scrambled to the skies as the military worked to intercept whatever Iran sent our way.

The first air raid sirens screamed through southern Israel around 1:42 a.m, and moments later resounded throughout large swatches of the country. Loud booms testified to the Iron Dome at work in the north and south of the country, as well as in Jerusalem and towns across Judea and Samaria, or what the world calls the West Bank.

As we settled into the shelter, with too many adults, teenagers, children, toddlers and dogs crammed into a confined space, the details began to emerge. Suicide drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles fired from Iran and Iraq. Airspace over Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon closed. Drones falling short and crashing into Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran itself. Projectiles lighting up the night sky over the Al-Aqsa Mosque—the third holiest spot in Islam—while Israel’s Iron Dome met them midair. All to the soundtrack of warplanes screaming through the sky.

By 3:00 a.m. it was all over. And although the stats were still being tallied, enough was known at this early stage to classify Iran’s big strike on its arch enemy a historic military flop—and Israel’s defense a spectacular miracle.

The stats were in by sunrise. More than 300 Iranian projectiles launched, comprising 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles, with more than 99% of them meeting a fiery end as air defenses shot them from the sky. None of the drones or cruise missiles made it across Israel’s borders, while the majority of ballistic missiles were shot down outside the Earth’s atmosphere. In what can only be described as a tremendous show of regional and international support—and a blatant slap in Tehran’s face—the US, the UK, France and Jordan fought alongside the Jewish state to intercept the projectiles heading for the Promised Land.

“The Iranian threat met the aerial and technological superiority of the IDF, combined with a strong fighting coalition, which together intercepted the vast majority of the threats,” Hagari said during a press briefing this morning.

According to the IDF, Israel’s long-range Arrow air defense system took care of the “vast majority” of the 120 ballistic missiles, but some circumvented Israel’s defensive shield, striking the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel and causing minor damage.

As for casualties and injuries, Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance and emergency service, said it had treated a 7-year-old Bedouin girl who was wounded in her home by shrapnel after the interception of an Iranian ballistic missile over the area. She was taken to a hospital in Beersheva and is currently fighting for her life.

In the aftermath of what social media has dubbed the most expensive Persian firework display in human history, one burning question remains: whether and how Israel will respond.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Galant and Minister Benny Gantz were authorized by the Israeli War Cabinet to propose a response. Their proposition hinges on more than merely striking back at an enemy nation that fired 300 projectiles at sleeping civilians in what constitutes an open declaration of war.

On the one hand, Israel must deter Iran. And in the Middle East, the only language of deterrence is an iron fist. Iran has been striking at Israel behind the scenes and via its terror proxies Hamas, Hezbollah and the like for decades. The shadow war between the sons of Judah and the sons of Persia has raged unabated for more than 45 years. Yet the attacks were never direct. On Sunday morning, they were. Israel cannot afford to show weakness. And make no mistake, failure to respond would be considered a sign of weakness—in the eyes of the ayatollahs, their allies and Israel’s neighbors in the region who are mulling normalizing ties with Jerusalem.

On the other hand, the US, the UK, France, Germany and Canada have all demanded in no uncertain terms that Israel refrain from a “disproportionate” response that could threaten the stability in the region. An iron fist in the form of a strong retaliation that signals Israel’s strength to its neighbors could thus alienate Jerusalem’s rather reluctant allies internationally. And with these allies serving as a defensive belt on Israel’s borders as the Iranian projectiles headed our way, Jerusalem will think long and hard about forfeiting these friends.

At the same time, Israel is also embroiled in a war aimed at dismantling Hamas in Gaza. Opening a new front with Iran would take the spotlight off Hamas and force Israel to shift focus mid-campaign, which would allow the terror group to regroup and return later for the promised round two of October 7. As a result, Jerusalem might well consider heeding its international allies’ advice, bite the bullet and turn a blind eye to the Iranian attack—for the time being.

And so we wait. Regardless of whether the Middle East erupts into open warfare over the coming days or whether we return to open war on just one front, one thing is certain: we have turned a corner.

On Sunday night, as the earth shook and the warplanes screamed overhead, we witnessed history in the making—which is indeed saying something. International leaders and world bodies have called the conflict in the Middle East the question of our time, the conflict of our generation. How arrogant we are. The opening shots of this war were fired thousands of years ago when God chose a people through which He would make Himself known to the world, a people He would use as the human instrument through which to bring salvation to all of mankind. And according to the Bible, it will rage in increasing intensity until the day Jesus returns to set the wrong right and rule and reign. This war has always been spiritual, a clash between the darkness and the Light.

Posted on April 15, 2024

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 15, 2024)

Photo Credit: TasnimNewsAgency/

Photo License: Wikimedia