Israel presses on in Gaza as world awaits response to Iran attack

Israel struck war-battered Gaza overnight, Hamas and witnesses said Monday, as world leaders urged de-escalation awaiting Israel's reaction to Iran's unprecedented attack that heightened fears of wider conflict.

World powers have urged restraint after Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel late Saturday, though the Israeli military has said nearly all were intercepted.

Tehran's first direct assault on Israel, in retaliation for a deadly April 1 strike on its Damascus consulate, followed months of violence across the region involving Iranian proxies and allies who say they act in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his war cabinet on Sunday, but no decision has been made on how or when Israel could respond to the Iran attack, local media said, reporting another meeting planned later on Monday.

Tensions in Iran "weaken the regime and rather serve Israel", the newspaper Israel Hayom said, adding that this suggested Israeli leaders would not rush to retaliate.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has warned that a "reckless" Israeli move would spark a "much stronger response", while foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said Monday that Western nations should "appreciate Iran's restraint" in recent months.

Tehran has insisted the attack on Israel was an act of "self-defence" after the Damascus strike that killed seven Revolutionary Guards including two generals.

 Gaza war grinds on 

The Israeli military said it would not be distracted from its war against Tehran-backed Hamas in Gaza, triggered by the Palestinian armed group's Oct. 7 attack.

"Even while under attack from Iran, we have not lost sight... of our...

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