Iran’s foreign minister has called on Israel to stop its attacks on Gaza, warning that the war might expand to other parts of the Middle East if Hezbollah joins the battle
BEIRUT — Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday called on Israel to stop its attacks on Gaza, warning that the war might expand to other parts of the Middle East if Hezbollah joins the battle, and that would make Israel suffer “a huge earthquake.”
Hossein Amirabdollahian told reporters in Beirut that Lebanon’s Hezbollah group has taken all the scenarios of a war into consideration and Israel should stop its attacks on Gaza as soon as possible.
Israel considers Hezbollah its most serious immediate threat, estimating it has some 150,000 rockets and missiles, including precision-guided missiles that can hit anywhere in Israel. The group, which has thousands of battle-hardened fighters who participated in Syria’s 12-year conflict, also has different types of military drones.
Hezbollah fighters have been on full alert along Lebanon’s borders with Israel following last Saturday’s attack by the militant Palestinian group Hamas that left hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers dead.
On Saturday, the Israeli military said an Israeli drone strike along the border with Lebanon killed a “cell” that was trying to infiltrate into Israel. On Friday, Hezbollah said its fighters fired several rockets at four Israel positions along the border.
On Saturday afternoon, Hezbollah fighters fired a barrage of rockets and shells at Israeli positions in the disputed Chebaa Farms. Israeli troops fired back on nearby areas in southern Lebanon.
Lebanon’s state news agency reported that a man and his wife were killed in Israeli shelling of a border village, while Hezbollah said one of its fighters was also killed Saturday.
Amirabdollahian discussed in Beirut on Saturday the situation in Gaza and the region with the top Hamas official in exile, Saleh Arouri, and the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, Ziad Nakhaleh, according to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV.
Hamas officials have repeatedly said that last Saturday’s attack on southern Israel that killed over 1,300 civilians and troops was the work of the Palestinian group and Iran had nothing to do with it. Hamas officials did not respond to calls by The Associated Press to confirm and give details about the meeting.
Amirabdollahian left Beirut on Saturday afternoon following a tour that took him to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where Tehran enjoys wide influence.