December 3, 2023

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Iran warns Israel it will intervene if Gaza operation continues, report claims

Iran has told Israel through the UN that it will intervene if the country’s operations against Hamas in Gaza continue, a report has claimed.

Israel has warned 1.1 million people living in the north of the enclave to evacuate ahead of an expected ground operation in Gaza with the IDF planning to strike the territory from land, sea and air.

Iran’s involvement could be through a militant group from Syria or by backing Hezbollah to join the conflict, diplomatic sources told Axios.

Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said that Israel’s operations could cause fighting to expand to other areas of the Middle East which would cause Israel to suffer “a huge earthquake”, reported the Associated Press.

Hezbollah has thousands of fighters and an estimated 150,000 rockets and missiles capable of hitting anywhere in Israel, according to the outlet.

“I know about the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place,” Mr Amirabdollahian said from Beirut on Saturday. “Any step the resistance (Hezbollah) will take will cause a huge earthquake in the Zionist entity.”

And he added: “I want to warn the war criminals and those who support this entity before it’s too late to stop the crimes against civilians in Gaza, because it might be too late in few hours.”

Mr Amirabdollahian said that he would be contacting UN officials in the region as “there is still an opportunity to work on an initiative (to end the war) but it might be too late tomorrow.”

Video then emerged of Mr Amirabdollahian meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar.

At least 1,300 people were killed in the Hamas terror attacks on 7 October, including 260 people at a music festival near kibbutz Re’im.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in Hamas-controlled Gaza since Israel launched retaliatory airstrikes, the Palestinian health ministry said on Saturday.

Following the Hamas attacks, Israel announced a “complete siege” on the enclave and tens of thousands have now left their homes in Gaza to get away from the combat zone.

And on Saturday Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops in southern Israel that “The next stage is coming”

Meanwhile, Joe Biden held separate phone calls on Saturday with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, statements from the Israeli and Palestinian leaders’ offices said.

Mr Netanyahu told Mr Biden that “unity and determination” were needed to achieve Israel’s combat goals against Gaza’s Hamas rulers, Mr Netanyahu’s office said, adding that he thanked the president for his support.

Mr Abbas’s office said the Palestinian leader told Biden he completely rejects the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, as Israel retaliates for a deadly Hamas attack on its territory.

A US official confirmed the two calls but no details were immediately available from the White House.

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