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Iranian foreign minister warns Israel of 'huge earthquake' if Hezbollah is involved in ongoing war

Israel considers the Iran-backed Hezbollah group as one of its most serious threats as it has around 150,000 missiles and rockets. The terrorist group had praised Hamas for the unprecedented and brutal attack on Israel and launched rockets at Israeli positions along the border.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Beirut Published on: October 14, 2023 16:14 IST
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Lebanon.
Image Source : AP Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Lebanon.

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Saturday warned Israel of 'a huge earthquake', saying that the ongoing war with Hamas will expand to other countries in the Middle East if Hezbollah decides to get involved.

In an interaction with reporters in Beirut, Amirabdollahian called on Israel to stop its attacks against Gaza, adding that the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group has taken all the scenarios of the war into consideration. Hezbollah remains the most serious threat to Israel, with its 150,000 rockets and missiles, including precision-guided missiles.

He further said that he met Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who briefed him on the group's conditions in Lebanon. "I know about the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place. Any step the resistance (Hezbollah) will take will cause a huge earthquake in the Zionist entity," said the Iranian Foreign Minister.

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. It has praised the Hamas attack, saying that the militants had "divine backing".

Hezbollah launched dozens of rockets and shells at three Israeli positions in a disputed area along the country's border with Syria the day after the Hamas attack took place. In a statement, Hezbollah said that the attack on the Israeli-occupied Mount Dov region comprised large numbers of "rockets and shells" in solidarity with the "Palestinian resistance". Some Israeli positions were directly hit in the attack. Israeli soldiers fired back at the Lebanese areas in retaliation.

According to the Times of Israel, Hezbollah chief Hashem Safi al-Din warned the United States and Israel that the "whole Islamic nation" would join the Hamas operation against Israel if they persist in their "foolishness" - referring to the violation of Islamic holy places.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military said an Israeli drone strike along the border with Lebanon killed a “cell” that was trying to infiltrate into Israel. Hezbollah aid its fighters fired several rockets at four Israel positions along the border on the previous day.

The situation in Israel and Gaza

The week-long war has already claimed over 3,500 lives on both sides and sent tensions soaring across the region. The death toll from Israeli strikes on Gaza rose to 2,215 people have been killed in the territory, including 724 children and 458 women, the Palestinian health ministry said. On the other hand, over 1,300 people have died in Israel from the Hamas attack since last week.

Palestinians have started fleeing from northern Gaza in a massive exodus after the Israeli military issued an evacuation order for the population of 1.1 million people, amid ground raids in the territory to root out Hamas which can possibly lead to more deaths.

Israeli tanks and artillery have already approached the Gaza border in anticipation of a possible ground offensive. IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said that they are "getting ready for the next stage of operations."

According to Hamas officials, around 70 people, mostly women and children, were killed during Israeli airstrikes as they were trying to rush out of the war-torn Gaza city. Hamas' media office says the cars were struck in three places as they headed south from Gaza City. It was not immediately clear who the target of the airstrikes was, or whether militants were among the passengers. 

The relentless Israeli strikes over the past week have leveled large swaths of neighborhoods, magnifying the suffering of Gaza, which has also been sealed off from food, water and medical supplies, and under a virtual total power blackout. Israel's evacuation order has been criticised by many organisations, including the UN and WHO.

The Israeli Air Force on Saturday said that they have eliminated Murad Abu Murad, the head of Hamas' aerial wing, in overnight strikes. According to the Air Force, Abu Murad was "largely responsible" for the brutal and unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas militants that has killed hundreds of people. 

(with AP inputs)

ALSO READ | Saudi Arabia suspending peace deal talks with Israel amid war with Hamas: Report

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