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Europe Joins US in Urging Restraint by Israel After Iranian Attack as Diplomatic Pressure Mounts

A view of a crater on a damaged road, after Iran’s mass drone and missile attack, at a location given as Hermon area, Israel, in this handout picture released on April 14, 2024. Photo: Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS

Israel‘s European allies urged it on Monday to show restraint over Iran’s weekend missile and drone attack, calling on Israeli leaders to step away from “the edge of the cliff” of escalation in the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet, which is empowered to decide on the country’s response, was set to convene on Monday afternoon, a government source said.

Israeli officials said the war cabinet, which also met on Sunday, favored retaliation but was divided over the timing and scale of any such response.

With the danger of open warfare erupting between Israel and Iran, and tension high over the war in Gaza, President Joe Biden has told Netanyahu the United States will not participate in any Israeli counter-offensive against Iran, US officials said.

Britain, France, Germany, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief all joined Washington and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in calling for restraint.

“We’re on the edge of the cliff and we have to move away from it,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. “We have to step on the brakes and reverse gear.”

French President Emmanuel Macron urged Israel to set its sight on isolating Iran rather than escalating the situation. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned Iran not to carry out more attacks and said Israel must also contribute to de-escalation.

Russia has refrained from criticizing its ally Iran in public over the strikes but expressed concern about the risk of escalation on Monday and also called for restraint.

“Further escalation is in no one’s interests,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Iran launched the attack over a suspected Israeli airstrike on its embassy compound in Syria on April 1 that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers including two senior commanders.

It followed months of clashes between Israel and Iran’s regional allies, triggered by the Gaza war that has spread to fronts with Iran-aligned groups in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

The weekend attack, involving more than 300 missiles and drones, caused only modest damage in Israel. Most were shot down by Israel‘s Iron Dome defense system and with help from the US, Britain, France, and Jordan.

The only serious injury reported within Israel was a seven-year-old who was hurt by shrapnel.

UNCERTAINTY

Asian shares fell and gold prices rose on Monday as risk sentiment took a hit, but oil prices dipped and Israel‘s shekel rose against the dollar.

“An attack was largely priced in the days leading up to it. Also the limited damage and the fact that there was no loss of life means that maybe Israel‘s response will be more measured,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING.

“But clearly, there is still plenty of uncertainty and it all depends on how Israel now responds.”

Iran’s attack also caused travel disruption, with at least a dozen airlines cancelling or rerouting flights, and Europe‘s aviation regulator reaffirming advice to airlines to use caution in Israeli and Iranian airspace.

Two senior Israeli ministers have signaled that retaliation is not imminent and that Israel will not act alone.

“We will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran in the fashion and timing that is right for us,” centrist minister Benny Gantz said.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel had an opportunity to form a strategic alliance “against this grave threat by Iran.”

Israel remained on high alert, but authorities lifted some emergency measures that had included a ban on some school activities and caps on large gatherings.

Iranian army chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri has warned Israel not to retaliate, and told Washington that US bases could be attacked if it helps Israel do so.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran had informed the United States that the attack on Israel would be limited and for self-defense, and that regional neighbors had been informed of the planned strikes 72 hours in advance.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on Monday, however, that no pre-arranged agreement was made with any country prior to the weekend attack. US officials said Tehran had not warned Washington.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak rejected Iran’s assertion that it provided advance notice before attacking Israel.

The post Europe Joins US in Urging Restraint by Israel After Iranian Attack as Diplomatic Pressure Mounts first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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