The Iron Dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles at rockets fired from Lebanon, as it seen over the Hula Valley, April 12, 2024. (Photo/JTA-Ayal Margolin-Flash90)
The Iron Dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles at rockets fired from Lebanon, as it seen over the Hula Valley, April 12, 2024. (Photo/JTA-Ayal Margolin-Flash90)

Iran launches missiles, drones at Israel, marking unprecedented escalation of regional tensions

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(JTA) — Iran launched missiles and more than 100 drones at Israel late Saturday, in an attack that marks the first time that Israel’s most powerful enemy has directed weapons directly toward Israeli territory.

Israelis in the north, the center and south were told to head to bomb shelters, and sirens and explosions were heard in much of the country, including in Jerusalem, as Israel and its allies worked to shoot down the drones. At least one person, a child from the Bedouin Arab town of Arad, was reported to have been injured by falling shrapnel.

The United States and Britain reportedly shot down some of the drones, and Israeli media reported that Jordan, which has heavily criticized Israel’s war in Gaza, had shot down drones over its territory as well.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Israel time on Sunday, Iran said it had concluded its volley. But shortly thereafter Israel’s army spokesman said the army had identified surface-to-surface missiles fired from Iranian territory.

Ron Kampeas

Ron Kampeas is the D.C. bureau chief at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.