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'We will hit back': Israeli ambassador to Canada on potential response to Iran's attack

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Israel’s ambassador to Canada says a “forceful” response should be expected after Israel faced an unprecedented attack by Iran late Saturday night, with more than 300 drones and missiles launched toward its territory.

In an interview with CTV’s Question Period on Sunday, Israeli Ambassador Iddo Moed told host Vassy Kapelos that Iran is using its “war machine” against Israel and that it must act “to make sure that (Iran) doesn’t inflict more damage on us.”

“We are in a state of war right now,” he said. “We are fighting against Hamas in the south, we have a proxy of Iran in the north with Hezbollah holding hundreds of thousands of missiles against the Israeli population. The situation is very, very volatile.”

Israeli officials say the country and its allies were able to intercept about 99 per cent of the drones and missiles launched by Iran, sustaining only minor damage. Iran has since declared the operation over. 

Iran says its attack was in retaliation for the April 1 airstrike on one of its consular buildings in Syria’s capital. The strike killed two Iranian generals. Israel has not confirmed responsibility, but has admitted to carrying out previous strikes inside Syria on targets linked to Iran.

Moed says Israel would like to use diplomacy to avoid any further escalation, but that the state wants those who attack to know that they will receive a “forceful” reaction.

“We've said very clearly from the outset: whoever attacks us, we will hit back, and we will hit back to make sure that that doesn't happen again,” he said. “We are not tolerating such attacks, and Israel will not tolerate it. Our national defence is in our own hands, and we will decide how to retaliate.

“Israel needs to decide for itself how to proceed because Israel was under attack last night under this horrific terrorist attack by a state, and we will have to make sure that that doesn't happen again,” he continued.

When asked by Kapelos as to the scale and scope of the retaliation and what is under discussion right now, Moed said “everything.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks on recent developments in Israel on Saturday, April 13, 2024. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press)

Moed went on to say that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is following the situation closely and that he is in contact with other ministers in the Canadian government. He thanked Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre for their “unequivocal support and recognition of Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Moed said a key part to Israel’s efforts in combating terrorism is the world seeing allies like Canada stand with them in the face of aggression.

“It is important for countries like Canada to evaluate what it means when they are standing next to Israel at this point in time,” Moed said. “Iran needs to see a strong global reaction to this aggression.”

With files from CTV's Question Period Senior Producer Stephanie Ha and the Canadian Press

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