Israel strikes site in Iran in retaliation for weekend attack, FOX source says

  • Israel’s reported response follows Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend.
  • Iran fired air defense batteries early Friday morning after explosions were reported near a major airbase in Isfahan.
  • Flights were diverted around western Iran with no explanation.
  • Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip has inflamed decade-old tensions in the Middle East, and any new attack threatens to escalate that conflict into a wider regional war.

Israel reportedly retaliates


A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the centre in the early hours of April 19, 2024, as US media quoted officials saying Israel had carried out retaliatory strikes on Iran. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel reportedly responded following Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend, striking a site in Iran early Friday, according to FOX News. 

A well-placed military source told FOX News that the strike was "limited." Sources familiar said the U.S. was not involved and there was pre-notification to the U.S. from the Israelis.

FOX News confirmed there were explosions in Iran's Isfahan province, which is where Natanz – one of Iran's nuclear facilities – is located. 

Though it was initially unclear if the facility was hit, state television described all sites in the area as "fully safe" and the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed on X Friday morning that there was no damage.

As of early Friday morning, Pentagon officials had not confirmed the strike and the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) declined to comment on the unfolding situation.

In Iran, the state-run IRNA news agency reported the "air defense batteries" were fired early Friday morning but did not elaborate further, the Associated Press said. 

Commercial flights began diverting their routes early Friday morning over western Iran without explanation as one semiofficial news agency in the Islamic Republic claimed there had been "explosions" heard over the city.

Israel said it would respond to attack

Israel said it would respond following Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. 

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said Monday that Israel was still considering its steps, but the Iranian strike of missiles and attack drones would "be met with a response." 

Halevi spoke during a visit to the Nevatim air base, which Israel said suffered light damage in the Iranian attack. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also been huddling with top officials to discuss a possible response. 

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said "all sides must show restraint" to avoid a rising spiral of violence in the Middle East.  

French President Emmanuel Macron also said it would try to "convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating." 

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby declined to say whether the U.S. had been or expected to be briefed on Israeli response plans. 

"We will let the Israelis speak to that," he told reporters Monday. "We are not involved in their decision-making process about a potential response."

Israel, Iran attacks


FILE - This photo taken on April 14, 2024 shows flares from explosions in the sky over Jerusalem as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts missiles and drones from Iran.  (Jamal Awad/Xinhua via Getty Images)

The Iranian attack on Saturday marked the first time Iran had launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

The attack also happened less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building. 

RELATED: Iran's attack on Israel largely intercepted 

An Israeli military spokesman said Sunday the launches numbered more than 300, but 99% of them were intercepted. 

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Iran fired 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles. Several ballistic missiles reached Israeli territory, causing minor damage to an air base.

What are Israel's defense capabilities? 

Israel possesses multiple layers of air defense capable of intercepting various threats, ranging from long-range missiles to UAVs and short-range rockets. Hagari emphasized that while Israel boasts an "excellent air defense system," it is not infallible and urged the public to heed safety announcements. 

Approximately 169,500 active-duty personnel and roughly 465,000 Israelis serve in reserve units, according to a report from Axios. Following the Hamas attack on October 7th, over 300,000 reservists have been mobilized. 

The IDF's annual budget, totaling around $23.6 billion as of 2023, exceeds the combined military spending of Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan. 

Israel is also believed to have dozens of nuclear warheads in its arsenal, though it has neither confirmed nor denied its nuclear capability. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press and FOX News contributed.