The Iranian leader accused Israel of committing “genocide” in its ongoing attack on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Israel of carrying out genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, and warned Israel of the need to reverse its attacks on the besieged Strip.
Khamenei said on Tuesday that Israeli officials should face trial for their actions in Gaza and warned that “no one can stop” forces opposed to Israel if they continue their offensive.
“If the Zionist crimes [Israeli] Khamenei said: “If the regime continues, the patience of Muslims and resistance forces will run out, and no one will be able to stop them.” “The bombing of Gaza must stop immediately.”
“Regarding the situation in Gaza, we all have a responsibility to respond; “We must respond,” he said.
Iranian officials often use the term “axis of resistance” to refer to a network of Iranian-backed armed groups across the region that includes Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Iran’s Fars News Agency also reported that Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Ali Fadavi warned of further actions by Iran-backed groups across the region.
He added, “The shocks of the resistance front against the Zionist entity will continue.”
Israel has bombed Gaza from the air since Hamas launched a surprise attack from Gaza into southern Israel on October 7, when hundreds of Hamas fighters breached the Israeli fence surrounding Gaza and killed at least 1,400 people, most of them civilians, according to Israeli authorities.
After the attack, Israel cut off food, water and electricity to more than 2.3 million Gazans and launched an air attack that destroyed entire neighborhoods, killing more than 3,000 people and wounding 12,500 others, according to Palestinian authorities.
The question of a potential expansion of the fighting to involve not only Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules Gaza and receives some support from Iran, but also more powerful Iranian-backed groups such as Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, loomed large during the eleven-day war.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday that supporting the Palestinians is Iran’s foreign policy priority but that armed groups make their own independent decisions.
Israel said it intends to destroy Hamas and mobilized hundreds of thousands of military reserve soldiers ahead of the expected ground attack on Gaza. Military experts have warned that any ground attack on densely populated areas of Gaza would be extremely difficult and could lead to heavy casualties on both sides.
The Israeli military indicated on Tuesday that it was considering other options as it prepared for the “next stages of the war” against Hamas.
“Everyone is talking about a ground attack, but it could be something else,” Israeli army spokesman Richard Hecht said on Tuesday, without providing further details.
“Any ground operation [by Israel into Gaza]Mahjoub Al-Zwairi, a professor at Qatar University, told Al Jazeera that starting such an operation could serve as an incentive for other armed groups to join the war.
The United States sought to deter Iranian-backed groups from joining the war, moving two aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean and placing 2,000 of its forces on readiness for deployment. Israel warned that any party joining the fighting would pay a heavy price.
However, the expansion of the conflict may also create major problems for Israel, which will face the possibility of being exposed to a barrage of missiles from Hezbollah’s huge arsenal, and the outbreak of a war on two fronts that may lead to the depletion of the capabilities of its forces.
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