Israel-Hamas war: Iran's leader admits Tehran hit little of Israel in attack

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, centre, Sunday, April 21, 2024.
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, centre, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest from the Israel-Hamas war and Middle East conflict.


Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything in a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a major assault, few projectiles actually made it through to their targets on Sunday. 

Senior military leaders also didn't touch on the apparent Israeli retaliatory strike on Friday on the central city of Isfahan, even though air defences opened fire and Iran grounded commercial flights across much of the country.

Khamenei, 85, made the comments in a meeting attended by the top ranks of Iran's regular military, police and paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, a powerful force within its Shiite theocracy.

Analysts believe both Iran and Israel, regional rivals locked in a shadow war for years, are trying to dial back tensions following a series of escalatory attacks between them as the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip rages on and inflames the wider region.

Strikes on Rafah kill 22 on Saturday

Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight killed 22 people, including 18 children, health officials said Sunday, as the United States was on track to approve billions of dollars of additional military aid to Israel, its close ally.

Israel has carried out near-daily air raids on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza's population of 2.3 million has sought refuge from fighting elsewhere. It has also vowed to expand its ground offensive against the Hamas militant group to the city on the border with Egypt despite calls for restraint, including from the US.

“In the coming days, we will increase the political and military pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to bring back our hostages and achieve victory. We will land more and painful blows on Hamas — soon," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement without providing further details.

US announces humanitarian aid package for Gaza

The US House of Representatives passed a $95 billion (€89 billion) aid package on Saturday, $26 billion (€24 billion) of which will go to providing humanitarian relief in Gaza and replenishing Israel's missile defence. 

Around $9 billion (€8 billion) will go towards humanitarian assistance for Gaza, which experts say is on the brink of famine. The US Senate could pass the package as soon as Tuesday, and President Joe Biden has promised to sign it immediately.

The Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials, at least two-thirds of them children and women. It has devastated Gaza's two largest cities and left a swath of destruction. Around 80% of the territory's population have fled to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave.

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