AFP — Iran warned Monday night of a possible “preemptive action” against Israel “in the coming hours,” as Israel readied for a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip in response to the October 7 Hamas onslaught.
Tehran has repeatedly warned that a ground invasion of the long-blockaded Gaza would be met with a response from other fronts — prompting fears of a wider conflict that could draw in other countries.
“The possibility of preemptive action by the resistance axis is expected in the coming hours,” Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a live broadcast to state TV, as he referred to his meeting with Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday.
Earlier Monday, Iran’s top diplomat and president, Ebrahim Raisi had said time was running out to reach a political solution and warned against the expansion of the Israel-Hamas war to other fronts.
Amir-Abdollahian said later Monday that “the resistance leaders” will not allow Israel “to do whatever it wants in Gaza.”
“If we don’t defend Gaza today, tomorrow we have to defend against these (phosphorus) bombs in the children’s hospital of our own country,” he added.
War erupted after Hamas’s October 7 massacre, which saw at least 1,500 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing over 1,300 people and seizing 200 to 250 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.
The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians — men, women, children and the elderly.
Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 260 were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists, in what US President Joe Biden has highlighted as “the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”
Israel has responded by declaring its intention to eradicate the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza, and pummeling the Strip with nonstop air and artillery strikes that have flattened neighborhoods and killed at least 2,750 people in Gaza.
Iran celebrated the Hamas assault but insisted it was not involved.
Since its Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has made support for Palestinians one of the pillars of its ideology.