TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has called on Islamic and Arab countries to cooperate in confronting Israel as it wages war against Hamas in a conflict triggered by an devastating shock attack by the Palestinian terror group.
Hamas’s weekend onslaught saw at least 1,500 terrorists cross the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip in vehicles, by air and by sea, killing 1,300 people and seizing 150 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of 5,000 rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.
The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians, men, women, children and babies. Entire families were executed in their homes and in some locations, the Palestinian terrorists mutilated their victims.
Israel has retaliated with artillery and airstrikes, and officials from the Hamas-controlled health ministry estimate more than 1,100 Palestinians have been killed. Israel says it is targeting terrorist infrastructure and all areas where Hamas operates or hides out, while issuing evacuation warnings to civilians in regions it plans to attack.
“Today, all the Islamic and Arab countries and all the free people of the world must reach a serious convergence and cooperation in the path of stopping the crimes of the Zionist regime against the oppressed Palestinian nation,” Raisi told his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad in a phone call late Wednesday.
Raisi stated that in order to stop the “genocide of the Palestinians by the Zionists,” Iran will coordinate with Islamic countries “as soon as possible,” the Iranian presidency website said on Thursday.
During his call with Assad, Raisi also lashed out at Arab countries that have recently normalized or are in discussion to establish ties with Israel.
“Today, all those who made public their relations with the Zionist regime under the pretext of defending the rights of the Palestinians were disgraced, and it has been proven to the whole world that the Zionist regime is in its weakest state,” Raisi said.
During the call, Assad similarly emphasized the “necessity of rapid action at the Arab and Islamic levels to protect the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip, and to stop the Israeli raids targeting children and women.”
Iran is a key ally of Syria and has backed the Damascus regime with military assistance as it put down a dragging civil war estimated to have cost the lives of over 300,000 civilians.
On Wednesday, Raisi called Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to discuss the war between Israel and Hamas.
Bin Salman reportedly told Raisi he is communicating with the international community to deescalate the situation.