Iran has warned that the expansion of the war between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East is “inevitable”, saying Tel Aviv’s aggression in Gaza would be the catalyst for more widespread violence.
“Due to the increasing intensity of the war against the civilian inhabitants of Gaza, the expansion of the scope of the war has now become inevitable,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. a phonecall.
His comments, which were reported on the ministry’s website, reinforce some analysts’ fears that violence in Gaza could trigger a wider regional conflict.
On October 7, Hamas gunmen stormed the heavily militarized border from the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,400 people in southern Israel. Most were civilians. The militants also captured around 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
Promising to destroy Hamas, Israel responded with an aerial bombardment and ground offensive that, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, killed more than 10,800 people, two-thirds of them civilians. women and children.
Today, Israel agreed to daily four-hour pauses in fighting and established evacuation corridors for Gaza residents as the IDF conducts field operations aimed at eradicating Hamas.
But Palestinian authorities say Israeli airstrikes are killing so many civilians that hospitals and morgues are overwhelmed, making normal death rituals virtually impossible.
Overcrowded cemeteries forced families to dig up long-buried bodies and dig holes, and overflowing morgues forced hospitals to bury people before their loved ones could collect them.
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on the northern Gaza Strip, November 9, 2023.
IDF soldiers operate in Gaza
Israeli soldiers walk through rubble amid the ongoing ground invasion against the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, November 8, 2023.
“Due to the increasing intensity of the war against the civilian inhabitants of Gaza, the expansion of the scope of the war has now become inevitable,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) said ( Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on the left).
People follow Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s speech on the Israel-Hamas conflict on a screen installed at Imam Hossein Square in Tehran, Iran, November 3, 2023.
Many in the international community have called on Israel to reduce the intensity of its attacks on Gaza, with the UN today calling for an end to the carnage in Israel’s military campaign.
“The current path chosen by the Israeli authorities will not bring the peace and stability that Israelis and Palestinians desire and deserve,” wrote Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), in an opinion article. “The carnage must simply stop.”
Meanwhile, Iran – which supports Hamas financially and militarily – hailed the militant group’s attack on Israel as a “success” – although it denied any involvement.
President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran considered it “its duty to support resistance groups” but insisted they act independently.
Tehran also supports the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, whose militants and allies have clashed with Israeli forces along their border in deadly clashes since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.
In a sign of escalating regional tensions, a series of rocket and drone attacks also targeted military bases housing US forces and other anti-jihadist coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.
A group known as the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq” has claimed responsibility for most of these attacks, which Washington has linked to Iran.
The United States has sent two aircraft carrier groups to the eastern Mediterranean as part of what it says is an effort to deter a wider war.
Raisi will join Arab leaders in the Saudi capital on Saturday for summits that are expected to underline demands that Israeli attacks on Gaza must stop before violence escalates in other countries.
Iran does not recognize Israel and has made support for the Palestinian cause a centerpiece of its foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, while training and funding several proxy groups in the Middle East.
This photo taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip on November 10, 2023 shows smoke billowing following the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, amid ongoing fighting between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas.
Civil defense teams and citizens continue search and rescue operations as Israeli attacks continue on the 35th day, in Rafah, Gaza, November 10, 2023.
Roads, vehicles and buildings are severely damaged after Israeli forces raided the Jenin camp in the West Bank on November 9, 2023.
Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, has emerged in recent years as a powerful regional force, with a multifaceted arsenal and diverse military capabilities that pose a considerable threat to Israel.
The Lebanese political and military group emerged in the early 1980s in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and officially announced its existence in 1985 with the publication of its first manifesto.
Initially, the group was a large but informal conglomerate of Shiite Muslims in Lebanon, spurred by Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the 1970s, which resulted in the overthrow of the Shah and the establishment of the Islamic Republic by Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini.
Tehran, seeing the potential to transform the rebel Shiite group into a formidable ally, tasked the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps with educating, training and funding them.
The Iranian connection remained a defining aspect of Hezbollah’s identity, and the nature of the group’s multifaceted structure as a political party and armed militia allows it to exert considerable influence.
In addition to the array of small arms, machine guns and tens, if not hundreds of thousands of rockets at its disposal, Hezbollah has a range of anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, a fleet of thousands of drones and dozens of tanks and armored vehicles.
Hamas was not initially founded or financed by Iran, but by Tehran throughout the 1990s. sought to make Hamas a strategic ally.
Although there are religious differences between Iran’s Shiite theocracy and Hamas’ Sunni Islam, their shared opposition to Israel has motivated Tehran to provide financial aid, arms deliveries and military training.
Fighters of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah
Armed men from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, during an anti-Israeli military march in Gaza City
Members of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, parade on a truck carrying rockets down a street in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip.
Militarily, Hamas is no match for Hezbollah, but the group has shown it can use guerrilla tactics that could make any ground attack dangerous for Israeli troops.
Meanwhile, in Yemen, the rebel Houthi movement – a Shiite group waging a bitter war against Yemen’s Sunni government, backed by a multinational coalition led mainly by Saudi Arabia – recently fired missiles towards Israel which had to be intercepted by an American warship. .
Unlike Hezbollah and Hamas, the Houthis do not view Israel as their greatest enemy, but have expressed considerable anti-Jewish sentiments and can be seen as another potential adversary of Israel in the event of a wider war.
Even the Syrian National Defense Forces, a group of several armed militias that came together to fight alongside Bashar al-Assad’s government against rebel groups during the Syrian civil war, have been trained by the Security Guards Corps. Iranian revolution.
Syria, alongside Iran, supplies missiles, drones and other weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah.