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Israeli soldiers stand next to military vehicles, near the Israel-Gaza border, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Israel, April 15, 2024.

REUTERS/Amir Cohen

War in Gaza rages on as all eyes turn to Israel-Iran tensions

Much of the world is waiting to see how Israel responds to Iran’s weekend attack. In the meantime, Israeli tanks reportedly rolled back into parts of northern Gaza on Tuesday, a day after the military told Palestinians not to return to that part of the enclave. According to reports, airstrikes also pummeled Rafah, the southern Gaza city that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to invade and where over a million Palestinians are sheltering.

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Iran-Israel crisis: Dangers still high with little room for diplomacy
Iran attack doesn't open diplomatic door for Israel | Ian Bremmer | World In :60

Iran-Israel crisis: Dangers still high with little room for diplomacy

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Does the Iran-Israel crisis offer a unique opportunity for diplomacy?

I don't think so. They certainly give an opportunity for a bunch of countries to reengage with Israel. We're seeing that with Jordan, with Saudi Arabia, and to show the Iranians that they are still considered to be the big concern as an enemy in the region, a disrupter. But that's very different from saying we're going to see a breakthrough in relations. You're not resetting deterrence. Iran is going to continue to lead the axis of resistance and provide weapons and intelligence and engage in strikes against targets across the region. Israel will still hit Iranians that are operating there. So going forward, I think the dangers are still pretty high.

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An anti-Israel billboard with a picture of Iranian missiles is seen in a street in Tehran, Iran April 15, 2024.

Majid Asgaripour/Reuters

Israel vows to respond to Iranian attack

Despite calls from world leaders for all parties to show restraint, Israel says it will soon hit back at Iran over its unprecedented air attack this weekend. On Monday, Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevisaid Tehran’s attack “will be met with a response.”

Though the barrage of over 300 drones and missiles was largely intercepted and caused minimal damage, it marked the first-ever direct attack on Israeli soil by Iran – raising pressure for the Jewish state to retaliate.

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Iran attacks Israel
Iran attacks Israel | Ian Bremmer | Quick Take

Iran attacks Israel

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and a Quick Take on a Sunday, which usually means something is not going well, and that is certainly the case in the Middle East, where you had unprecedented strikes by Iran and its proxies against Israel.

Now, on the one hand, clearly a very dangerous thing to do, on the other hand, could have been a hell of a lot worse. What do I mean by that? Well, it is not World War III. Americans warned Iran not to hit the United States, and the Iranians gave a heads-up, days in advance, through a number of actors, most importantly through Iraq. This reminds me very much of after the American servicemen and women, three were killed in Jordan, by an Iranian proxy. The Americans did not want a war to break out with the Iranians directly, waited about a week, gave a heads up through Iraq, of the kind of attack that the Americans were planning, waited four days, gave the Iranians a chance to basically prepare and get their own forces out, and warned them that if this were to happen again, there would be direct consequences, a direct strike on Iran itself.

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Iranian and Israeli flags behind an hourglass.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH via Reuters

Iran launches ballistic missiles at Israel in revenge attack

Late Saturday, Tehran launched ballistic and cruise missiles toward Israel as part of a retaliatory attack for the recent Israeli strike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus that killed top Iranian commanders.

IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said early Sunday that more than 200 different rockets, including drones and ballistic and cruise missiles, were launched at Israel, with Israeli defenses and partners having intercepted the vast majority. More than 100 drones were intercepted with help from Jordan, the US, and the UK.

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Iranians burn an Israeli flag during a rally marking Quds Day and the funeral of members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who were killed in a suspected Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy complex in the Syrian capital Damascus, in Tehran, Iran, April 5, 2024.

Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Will Iran attack Israel?

There are rising concerns over how Iran will retaliate to a recent Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, that killed several top Iranian commanders and enraged Tehran. US President Joe Biden on Wednesday warned that Iran is threatening a “significant attack” against Israel, and he promised Washington’s “ironclad” support to the Jewish state.
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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visits an exhibit during a ceremony celebrating the achievements of the country's defense industry in Tehran on August 22, 2023.

Reuters

Is Iran sending drones to Sudan?

Iranian drones are playing a game-changing role in Sudan’s civil war, with the country’s armed forces increasingly using them to spot rival forces and direct artillery fire, Reuters reports.

Sudan has reportedly acquired Iranian-made drones in recent months, but it denies obtaining “any weapons from Iran” – though flight tracking records from December and January show an Iranian cargo airline making repeated trips between Iran and an important hub for the Sudanese army.

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What will Israel's invasion of Rafah look like?
What will Israel's invasion of Rafah look like? | Ian Bremmer | World In :60

What will Israel's invasion of Rafah look like?

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

How will Iran respond to the attack on their consulate in Syria?

An Israeli strike that killed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leader of Iran in Syria. So on the one hand, Iranian citizen, high-level military official. On the other hand, not in Iran itself, in Syria supporting proxy attacks. Clearly the Iranians have been willing to push hard using the leverage they have in the so-called acts of resistance to engage in strikes against civilian shipping, against Western military capabilities, and against Israel.

The Israelis are showing that they will attack wherever they think fit against them, but Iran has been reluctant to allow this to potentially lead to escalation in a direct war against Iran, which is why it's hard to imagine the Iranians engaging in direct strikes against Israel itself. Ballistic missile strikes from Iran into Israel. So in other words, if you're going to hit Israel, you try to use proxies or you try to hit Israelis outside of Israel itself. Israeli diplomatic facilities, for example, that's where I think you're more likely to see escalation. Escalation seems almost certain from the Iranians, but containing it also is something the Americans and Israel are trying very, very hard to do and that continues to be the case like when we saw the American servicemen killed in Jordan a couple months ago.

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