Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday accused the United States of orchestrating military strikes in Gaza and accused Israel of taking revenge on defenseless Palestinians because it was incapable of confronting Muslim fighters.
“Palestine will definitely be victorious in this current situation and in the future,” he wrote.
Since the Hamas attack, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,300 Israelis and started a conflict that has left thousands of Palestinians dead and large areas of the Gaza Strip in rubble, Israel has been bombarding Gaza. Using social media, Khamenei cautioned Muslim governments against adopting the same approach as the United States and other Western countries that designate “people defending their homes and country” as terrorists.
“The terrorist is that fake government that has occupied Palestine,” Khamenei wrote, referencing Israel. His comments came a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking at the U.N., said the U.S. does not want the war to widen but that “if Iran or its proxies attack U.S. personnel anywhere, make no mistake, we will defend our people, we will defend our security swiftly and decisively.”
Israel says Iran trying to widen war
Before Hamas went on a rampage on October 7, the terrorist organisation received cash, weapons, and critical technological knowledge from Iran. In recent days, the Iranian government has also supported terrorist acts in other nations, an Israeli military spokesman said. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari charged that recent attacks by militias in Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon were orchestrated by Tehran.
“Iran directly aided Hamas before the war, with training, supplying weapons, money and technological know-how,” Hagari charged. “Even now, Iranian aid to Hamas continues in the form of intelligence and online incitement against the State of Israel.”
The Biden administration has stated time and time again that there is no proof of direct Iranian involvement or even prior knowledge of the Hamas attack in Israel. The administration has been working hard to prevent Iran and other regional players from inciting the war to spread to Lebanon and other areas.
Lack of fuel may force UN to halt humanitarian aid to Gaza
The U.N. agency charged with shuttling humanitarian aid into Gaza says it will need to significantly reduce and possible halt operations if fuel does not get to Gaza immediately. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
“The coming 24 hours are very critical,” the agency said in an update Wednesday.
In 150 agency shelters located around Gaza, more than 613,000 individuals are seeking refuge. The United Nations said that three more agency employees perished on Tuesday, raising the total to 38 employees slain since the start of the conflict.
Network of tunnels key to Hamas warfare
Hundreds of miles of covert tunnels under Gaza and into Israel are being used by Hamas militants for hostage-taking, weapon movement, and other attacks against Israeli objectives. The tunnels, which are thought to be between 150 and 300 miles long, have been utilised by Hamas for decades in its conflict with Israel. The underground network’s 2021 length was said by the militant organisation to be 311 miles, however this has not been independently confirmed. If Israel invades with land forces, the roughly 1,300-tunnel network will provide unique challenges for Israel Defence Force personnel.
Israeli researchers claim that Hamas commanders utilise portions of the network as command centres to direct military activities. According to the Israeli military, Hamas used aid worth millions of dollars to finance the tunnel’s construction.