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middle east map showing the trajectory of the iranian attack on israel

April 17, 2024

Allies Urge Restraint as Iran Strikes Israel in Response to Killing of Top Officials in Syria

Ask students: When did Israel attack the consulate killing top military officials? When did Iran conduct their retaliatory strike?


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Tensions remain high in the Middle East as Israel says it will respond to Iran's barrage of drones over the weekend. President Biden said while the U.S. commitment to Israel is unwavering, the administration would not support a retaliatory strike. Iran's attack on Israel was in response to an Israeli airstrike earlier this month on Iran's consulate in Damascus, Syria, which killed several top officials.

On March 29, Israeli strikes in Syria killed at least 44 people, including 38 soldiers and seven members of Hezbollah, as well as civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

These types of airstrikes have escalated since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas. According to the Associated Press, "Though it rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, Israel has said it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups such as Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces."

View the transcript of the story.

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Discussion Questions

  • Who are the voices featured in this piece?
  • Why did Iran launch drones into Israel?
  • What has Israel said it will do in response? Does the international community and the Biden administration agree with Israel's statements?
  • Where is Israel? Iran? Syria?
  • When did Israel attack the consulate killing top military officials? When did Iran conduct their retaliatory strike?

Focus Questions

Do you agree with the Biden administration as to whether or not Israel should attack Iran in response to Israel's attack? Explain.

Media literacy: News outlets often identify if a think tank is conservative or liberal. Do you think news outlets should make this standard practice? Do you think the NewsHour should have done this when introducing the Washington Institute for Near East Policy? How could you find out more about this organization as well as SAIS (Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies)?

Extension Activity

Sharpening media literacy skills is always useful! NewsHour Classroom advisor Syd Golston (ret. school administrator, teacher, author) created this short activity based on CBS' national newscast from April 15, 2024. Golston wrote down the the stories in order of coverage, which in the news business implies importance. Take a look at the order of stories, and answer the questions below:

  1. Trump trial for falsifying business records to make payments to Stormy Daniels ahead of 2020 election
  2. Tensions between Israel and Iran after Iranian missile attack
  3. Gaza protests in U.S cities
  4. Storms and other weather in the U.S.
  5. Announcement of FBI investigation of Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in Baltimore
  6. Murder of two women in Kansas
  7. Supreme Court upholds anti-transgender bill in Idaho, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas unexplained absence
  8. Caitlin Clark picked in WNBA draft
  9. Tax day problems at H&R Block
  10. Look at representation of Black players in MLB (Major League Baseball) on Jackie Robinson Day

How do you think the importance of these stories (based on order of when they are covered) might be different on Fox or MSNBC? PBS NewsHour? Find out by checking the newscasts!

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More

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