“We express our full solidarity and support for Israel and its people and reaffirm our commitment to their security,” said the G7 statement after a video conference. “We will continue to work to stabilize the situation and avoid further escalation. And with this in mind, we demand that Iran and its proxies cease their attacks.”

The G7 also said it was “ready to take additional measures now and in response to further attempts at destabilization.” The G7 group includes the USA, Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Canada and Japan.

Iran had previously attacked Israel directly from its territory for the first time in history. According to Israeli data, almost all of the 300 drones and missiles fired by Iran were repelled. It initially remained unclear whether and how Israel wanted to react.

The USA obviously urged restraint: President Joe Biden condemned the Iranian attack “in the strongest possible terms”. At the same time, according to a government representative, in a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he “made it very clear that we have to think very carefully and strategically about the risks of escalation.” The US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added: “The Israelis have made it clear to us that they are not looking for a significant escalation with Iran.”

Referring to a possible Israeli retaliation, he said: “We would not see ourselves taking part in such an action.” The spokesman for the National Security Council in the White House, John Kirby, also assured NBC: “We don’t want any escalation. We are not looking for a major war with Iran.”

The European Union also called on “all parties to exercise utmost restraint.” Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said: “We strongly condemn the Iranian attack and warn against any further escalation.”

At the same time as the Iranian airstrike, the pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia in Lebanon and the Houthi rebels in Yemen also carried out attacks against Israeli targets, for example in the Golan Heights. Air alerts were raised in several places in Israel, including Jerusalem and the south. Explosions were also heard and people sought shelter.

According to Israeli reports, twelve people were injured in the attacks, including a seven-year-old girl. The airspace over Israel was closed and only reopened on Sunday morning.

Israel’s Defense Minister Joav Gallant said the State of Israel, together with its partners, “succeeded in defending its territory.” However, he added: “The battle is not over – we must remain vigilant.” According to the Israeli army, the USA, Great Britain and France, among others, took part in repelling the Iranian attack.

The leadership in Tehran described the attacks as retaliation for an attack on an Iranian consulate building in Damascus that was attributed to Israel. At the beginning of April, 16 people were killed there, including two generals from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Tehran emphasized that the attack on Israel was based on the right to self-defense enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter.

The Iranian army said it had achieved all of its objectives with the attack. The two main targets in Israel, an intelligence center and the Nevatim military base, linked to the attack in Damascus, were “significantly damaged and disabled.”

“The attacker has been punished,” emphasized President Ebrahim Raisi. He warned Israel against “rash” retaliation and threatened a “decisive and much stronger response” in such an event.

Tehran said it had informed the USA in advance of its attack plans. “We communicated to the White House in a message that our operations will be limited and minimal and aimed only at punishing the Israeli regime,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.

The Iranian foreign minister also summoned the ambassadors of Germany, France and Great Britain. According to the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, the protest against the “irresponsible positions of some responsible people in these countries regarding the Iranian response” to the Israeli actions should be conveyed to them.

Iran is a declared supporter of the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas, which triggered the war in the Gaza Strip with its major attack on Israel on October 7th. Both Iran and Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and the USA, have claimed the destruction of Israel as their goal. Until now, Iran had never directly attacked its arch-enemy.