IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
EVENT ENDED
Last updated

House speaker plans vote on Israel aid; IDF vows response to Tehran's retaliatory strike

Israel's military chief said that the country would respond to Iran's attack, as the U.S. led efforts to contain the fallout and prevent a wider Middle East war.

What we know

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Follow live updates here.

U.S. will impose new sanctions on Iran, strengthen missile defense in Middle East

The United States will put in place new sanctions targeting Iran and entities that support its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, “in the coming days,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said today.

Sullivan said that the U.S. military will also work to strengthen missile defense and early warning systems across the Middle East “to further erode the effectiveness of Iran’s missile and UAV capabilities.”

“These new sanctions and other measures will continue a steady drumbeat of pressure to contain and degrade Iran’s military capacity and effectiveness and confront the full range of its problematic behaviors,” Sullivan said in a statement.

European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said its foreign affairs council met today and was united in increasing its sanctions against Iran.

Borrell said on X that if there is a spiral of attacks and the intensity of responses between Israel and Iran increases each time, there will be a full-scale war.

“The region doesn’t need it, the world doesn’t need it,” Borrell said.

Cease-fire talks 'almost frozen,' Arab diplomat says

At the moment, talks for a cease-fire and the release of Israeli hostages by Hamas are "almost frozen," a senior Arab diplomat with direct knowledge of the negotiations told NBC News.

The official did not attribute blame and said discussions stalled as tensions with Iran took center stage following Israel’s April 1 attack on the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus.??

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Sunday that Hamas had rejected Israel's most recent offer for a deal.

NBC News

Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Karim Sadjadpour spoke to MSNBC's Katy Tur about the dangers that could come to the Middle East and Europe as Israel plans for a possible retaliation after Iran’s weekend attack.

U.N. committee unable to agree on Palestinian bid for full membership

Reuters

UNITED NATIONS — A United Nations Security Council committee considering an?application?by the Palestinian Authority to become a full U.N. member “was unable to make a unanimous recommendation” on whether it met the criteria, according to the committee report seen by Reuters today.

The Palestinian Authority is?still expected?to push the 15-member Security Council to vote — as early as this week — on a draft resolution recommending it become a full member of the world body, diplomats said.

Such membership would effectively recognize a Palestinian state. The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a de facto recognition of statehood that was granted by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly in 2012.

But an application to become a full U.N. member needs to be approved by the Security Council, where Israel ally the United States can block it, and then at least two-thirds of the General Assembly.

House passes bill requiring Treasury report on institutions with ties to Iranian officials

The House of Representatives passed a bill called the Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act of 2023 in a landslide 419-4 vote today.

The bill, which was introduced in November, would require the Treasury Department to provide a report on financial institutions with ties to various Iranian officials, including Iran's supreme leader and leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Earlier today a Treasury official told NBC News that Secretary Janet Yellen was looking to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Iran cannot get away 'scot-free' from Israeli attack, Hagari says

Raf Sanchez

Israel will respond to Iran at a time and in a manner of the country's choosing, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari told reporters at a military base in central Israel today.

"We cannot stand still from this kind of aggression," Hagari said. "Iran will not get 'scot-free' from this aggression."

The defensive response Saturday night was an "amazing" operation, Hagari said, but also emphasized the strategic success of an international coalition. When asked how Israel could respond without escalating, Hagari reiterated that Israel will react "the way we will choose at the time that we will choose."

"We will know what to do, and when to do," Hagari said.

Sunak tells Netanyahu it's time for 'calm heads to prevail'

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urged the need for de-escalating tensions during a call with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, according a readout from Downing Street.

"He stressed that significant escalation was in no one’s interest and would only deepen insecurity in the Middle East," the statement said. "This was a moment for calm heads to prevail."

Netanyahu thanked Sunak for his support and the military assistance provided by the Royal Air Force during Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel over the weekend. Sunak also expressed his concerns over the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, his office said.

"The UK wanted to see a massive step change in aid access to flood Gaza with vital supplies, including Israel opening up new aid routes as quickly as possible," the statement said.

An uneasy alliance of Arab states helped to defend Israel from Iran

Matt Bradley

BEIRUT — Since Iran’s unprecedented retaliatory attack against Israel was thwarted over the weekend with the help of the United States and its Middle Eastern allies, the Biden administration has crowed that the “coalition” averted a regional war.

An Israeli response, however, would test the durability of an informal coalition of awkward bedfellows including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, whose recent cooperation against Iran has the potential to be damaging on the homefront, analysts say.??

“Those Arab countries are in a very critical situation,” said Oraib Al Rantawi, director of the Al Quds Center for Political Studies, a think tank based in Jordan’s capital, Amman. “There is no easy position to take for all of them, especially Jordan, which for geopolitical reasons has found itself trapped between two troublemakers — Iran and Israel.”??

After Iran’s barrage of more than 300 missiles and drones did limited damage, as many of them were shot down by American, British, Israeli and Jordanian forces, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday that the coordinated operation was “an extraordinary military success” that sent “a strong message about where Israel is in the region versus where Iran is in the region, which is increasingly isolated.”?

Read the full story here.

Global markets took Iran’s retaliatory attack against Israel in stride

Fred Imbert, CNBC

West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. benchmark for oil, is down slightly week to date as Israel fended off the strike and the U.S. reiterated its desire to avoid a greater conflict in the Middle East. International Brent crude is also down about 0.5% this week.

The U.S. dollar, traditionally seen as a safe-haven currency for investors around the world, is only up 0.3% this week.

Gold — also seen as a source of safety during volatile market times — has perked up about 1% in that time, however.

U.S. Treasury yields, which move inversely to prices, have continued climbing despite the weekend’s events. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield rose above 4.6% for the first time since November.

Israel still imposing ‘unlawful’ restrictions on Gaza aid, U.N. rights office says

Reuters

GENEVA — Israel is still imposing “unlawful” restrictions on humanitarian relief for Gaza, the U.N. human rights office said today, despite assertions from Israel and others that barriers have eased.

Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip triggered by Hamas’ deadly cross-border attacks on Oct. 7 has turned much of the Gaza Strip into a wasteland, with hundreds of thousands of people now displaced and crowded into disease-ridden shelters.

The amount of aid now entering Gaza is disputed, with Israel and Washington saying the flow has risen in recent days, but U.N. agencies say it is still far below bare minimum levels.

“Israel continues to impose unlawful restrictions on the entry and distribution of humanitarian assistance, and to carry out widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the U.N. human rights office, at a press briefing in Geneva, reiterating calls for unfettered access.

Israel, which denies hindering humanitarian relief to Gaza, has faced increased international pressure to let more supplies into the Gaza Strip since it?hit an aid convoy?on April 1, killing international relief workers.

Potential strike against Iran nuclear facility is a concern, atomic energy chief says

International Atomic Energy Agency?director Rafael Grossi said the watchdog organization is "always concerned about" the possibility of strikes on nuclear facilities.

Grossi gave the answer during a news briefing in New York City today after being asked whether he was worried about a potential strike by Israel on Iran's nuclear facilities. The agency did have to briefly suspend the inspections of the facilities there, which were closed due to "security considerations," Grossi told reporters.

He was also asked to comment on a statement by Israel’s U.N. ambassador this week that Tehran was only weeks away from nuclear weapon capabilities. Grossi warned that the accumulation of uranium at high levels “does not automatically mean that you have a nuclear weapon.”

"As far as the agency is concerned — I don't refer to national statements — as far as the agency who is inspecting there is concerned, we don't have any information or indication that there is a nuclear weapon program in Iran," Grossi said.

Israel urges new sanctions on Iran

Israel’s foreign minister said he's urging countries to place sanctions on Iran’s missile program and proscribe its Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

“Alongside the military response to the firing of missiles and drones, I am leading a diplomatic attack against Iran,” Israel?Katz?said in a post on X.

He added that he had sent letters to 32 countries and spoken with numerous counterparts, calling on them to “place sanctions on Iran’s missile project and declare the Revolutionary Guard a terror organization, as a way to stop and weaken Iran.”

“We must stop Iran now, before it will be too late,” he wrote.

Hezbollah commander killed in IDF strike

Ammar Cheikh Omar

Doha Madani and Ammar Cheikh Omar

A Hezbollah commander, Ismail Youssef Baz, was killed in an Israeli strike in a town within southern Lebanon's Tyre district.

The IDF first reported that it killed Baz, describing him as a veteran Hezbollah official who served in various position over the years. Baz helped plan numerous rocket and anti-tank missile launches toward Israel, according to the IDF statement.

Hezbollah later confirmed Baz's death in a statement, briefly describing him as a "martyr" born in southern Lebanon in 1972.

Israel will decide 'what Israel will do,' U.S. ambassador to U.N. says

The U.S. has made it clear to Israel that its war against Hamas should not escalate after Iran's strikes, United Nations ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told MSNBC today.

"It has a greater impact on the region," Thomas-Greenfield said. "But again, I have to say that Israel, Israel's war cabinet will make the decision about what Israel will do."

Israel will continue to receive the White House's support "should they experience the kind of attack that they just experienced from Iran over the weekend," she added.

Thomas-Greenfield spoke to MSNBC from Seoul, South Korea, following a visit to the demilitarized zone to discuss Middle East tensions, as well as North Korea’s intimidation and violence in the region.

IDF conducts 'readiness' exercises in northern Israel

Yael Factor

TEL AVIV — Soldiers were engaged in a series of exercises in northern Israel as part of the military's increased "readiness" preparations, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

The drills included both field exercises and digital simulations between Northern Command, the J6 and the Cyber Defense Directorate. Scenarios for other units included responses to attacks from the direction of Lebanon and Syria simultaneously.

"The command HQ trained the reservists based on operational plans and cooperation between the various arrays in the command — to prepare operational responses for every potential scenario," the IDF said.

U.S. preparing new sanctions against Iran after retaliatory attack on Israel

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is preparing fresh sanctions for Iran, a Treasury official told NBC News, as Yellen vows that the U.S. “will not hesitate” to inflict economic punishment on Tehran in the wake of its retaliatory attack on Israel.

"The attack by Iran and its proxies underscores the importance of Treasury’s work to use our economic tools to counter Iran’s malign activity,”? Yellen said in prepared remarks for a news conference at meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Her comments come a day after the White House's John Kirby told reporters that the U.S. is looking to "further isolate" the Islamic Republic.?

Iran has been subjected to waves of sanctions over the years, including new sanctions from the Biden administration in October. Those were designed to keep Tehran from selling or acquiring parts or technology related to ballistic missiles or drones after a similar measure from the United Nations expired.

Mike Johnson unveils plan to move Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan aid as separate bills this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson?has unveiled a plan to advance foreign aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan in separate bills and move a fourth piece of legislation wrapping other Republican national security priorities together.

Those GOP priorities would include implementing a?loan-lease program for Ukraine aid, which would lend Ukraine money backed by seized Russian assets, and imposing more sanctions on Iran.

Read the full story here.

Iran tells China and Russia it has no intention of escalating further

Peter Guo

Jeremy Zhu

Peter Guo and Jeremy Zhu

Iran has told both China and Russia that it is not seeking further escalation with Israel after its retaliatory attacks.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone and said that Tehran’s strikes were limited and that the Islamic Republic was not interested in escalating, the Kremlin said.

Putin expressed hope that all sides would show reasonable restraint and so prevent a fall toward a confrontation that could have “catastrophic consequences for the entire region,” the Kremlin added.

Tehran is “willing to exercise restraint and has no intention of further escalating tensions” in the Middle East, the country’s foreign minister told his Chinese counterpart yesterday.

Hossein Amirabdollahian?briefed his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, about the attack on Iran’s consular building in the Syrian capital, Damascus, earlier this month, according to a report today by the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

Wang said China believed that Iran can handle the situation “properly,” according to the Xinhua report. It added that he called the attack in Syria a “spillover effect” of the Gaza conflict.

Israel said yesterday it was “unhappy” with the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s initial statement about the Iranian attack, which expressed “deep concern”?about the risk of the conflict escalating.

“We were hoping for stronger condemnation and clear acknowledgment of Israel’s right to defend itself,” Yuval Waks, deputy chief of the Israeli mission in China, said at a news briefing in Beijing, according to The South China Morning Post.

Israel must stop settler attacks on Palestinians, U.N. human rights office says

The Associated Press

Israeli security forces “must immediately end their active participation in and support for settler attacks on Palestinians,” according to a statement from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

It follows a wave of settler attacks on Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank triggered by?the killing of a 14-year-old Israeli boy?in what authorities say was a militant attack.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers since the attacks began Friday, and another 75 have been wounded.

Israeli authorities have urged people not to resort to vigilante attacks as tensions soar. But rights groups have long accused Israeli forces of?routinely ignoring settler attacks?or even taking part in them.

The U.N. statement said “Palestinians have been subjected to waves of attacks by hundreds of Israeli settlers, often accompanied or supported by Israeli Security Forces.” It said that in addition to deaths and injuries, the attacks have also included the torching of hundreds of homes and other buildings, as well as cars.

“Israel, as the occupying power, must take all measures in its power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety in the occupied West Bank,” it said.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war and has built scores of settlements there that are now home to over 500,000 Jewish settlers. The Palestinians want the West Bank, which is home to some 3 million Palestinians, to form the main part of their future state.

Violence has surged in the West Bank since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack out of Gaza that triggered the war. The Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 468 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war in Gaza. Most were shot dead by Israeli security forces during arrest raids or violent protests.

Israel keeps the world guessing — and on edge

JERUSALEM — Israel says it will retaliate to Iran’s unprecedented and unsuccessful missile and drone attack.

But it's keeping the world guessing as to how, when and to what extent — making allies, including the United States, nervous about a wider Middle East war that once started would be difficult to contain.

USC cancels pro-Palestinian valedictorian’s speech, citing security concerns

The University of Southern California has sparked condemnation from a leading Muslim group after it canceled a planned commencement speech by its valedictorian, citing security concerns due to tensions over “the ongoing?conflict in the Middle East.”

Image: University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles.
AaronP / Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images file

Asna Tabassum said she was told yesterday that she would no longer be able to give a speech as she and other graduates at the Los Angeles university are celebrated May 10.

“I am both shocked by this decision and profoundly disappointed that the University is succumbing to a campaign of hate meant to silence my voice,” Tabassum?said in?a statement?released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.?

Read the full story here.

Iran vows 'severe, extensive, and painful response' to action against it

The smallest action against Iran’s interests “will definitely be met with a severe, extensive, and painful response against all its perpetrators,” the Islamic Republic’s president said last night.

Ebrahim Raisi said his country’s attacks on Israel contained “clear message for all,” according to a readout of a telephone call he made with Qatar’s leader, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The readout, published by Iran, said that Raisi had also criticized the strike on the Iranian consular building in Damascus earlier this month, which killed two top commanders and five advisers to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

He said the United Nations and the Security Council had “failed to condemn the attack.”

Artist shuts Israeli exhibition at Venice Biennale until cease-fire reached and hostages released

Annie Hill

Israeli artist Ruth Patir has announced she will shut the Israeli pavilion at the Venice Biennale, where she planned to exhibit her work ''(M)otherland,'' an exploration of ''womanhood and the burdens of the female body,'' until a cease-fire is reached and hostages are released.

The sign announces that the artist and curators representing Israel at this year's Venice Biennale won't open the Israeli pavilion until there is a cease-fire in Gaza and an agreement to release hostages taken Oct. 7.
The closed Israeli national pavilion at the Biennale contemporary art fair in Venice today.Luca Bruno / AP

In a statement posted on Instagram, the artist said she wants to ''stand with'' protesters calling for an immediate truce deal. A sign affixed to the door of the Israeli pavilion reads: ''The artist and curators of the Israeli pavilion will open the exhibition when a cease-fire and hostage release agreement is reached.''

Johnson outlines House plan to vote on foreign aid bills

House Speaker Mike Johnson spoke to reporters after a GOP conference meeting that he said was “fruitful and productive” and outlined his plan to put four national security bills on the House floor: Israel aid, Ukraine aid, Indo-Pacific aid and a fourth measure that includes GOP national security priorities that would include more sanctions on Iran.

“Every member ultimately will be able to vote their own conscience on all of these matters and everyone have an opportunity to weigh in and bring the amendments that they think are suitable,” Johnson, R-La., said.

He said that he would prefer to send each bill to the Senate individually but that no final decision has been made.?

If bill text comes out tomorrow, as is the hope, Johnson said, the House might not vote on the packages until Friday. The House is scheduled to leave Thursday afternoon and be in recess next week, but that could change.

Israeli army chief vows a response to Iran's attack

Max Butterworth

Max Butterworth and Anna Schecter

Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi spoke to officers at Nevatim air base in southern Israel yesterday. He vowed that Israel would respond to Iran's attack over the weekend.

“Iran will face the consequences for its actions. We will choose our response accordingly. The IDF remains ready to counter any threat from Iran and its terror proxies as we continue our mission to defend the State of Israel,” Halevi said in a video in English thanking the international partners who helped thwart Iran's retaliatory attack.

Israel's army chief on April 15 vowed a response to Iran's unprecedented attack against the country which has prompted appeals for de-escalation by world leaders fearing wider conflict. Six months of war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza have triggered violence across the region involving Iranian proxies and allies who say they act in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Army via AFP / Getty Images

Catch up with our latest coverage

NBC News

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news