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The Middle East Needs a Ceasefire Now

Paradoxically, Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel could generate an equally unprecedented breakthrough for peace in the Middle East. But first, the United Nations Security Council must pass a binding resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and across the region.

JERUSALEM– It is hard to imagine that anyone in the Levant or the broader Middle East managed to sleep on Saturday night, as Iran launched hundreds of drones and ballistic missiles toward strategic sites in Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Almost all of the drones and missiles were intercepted before reaching their targets, as a result of a coordinated effort by the United States, Israel, Jordan, and the United Kingdom. The trigger for Saturday’s attack was Israel’s bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1, which killed 13 people, including several high-ranking members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This act, a clear violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, compelled the Islamic Republic to respond.

Iran chose to strike Israel directly, a decision likely driven by a desire to defend its national pride following the attack its consulate, which, according to the Vienna Convention, is the Islamic Republic’s sovereign territory.