Iran has started raising its voice against Israel now. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday said that Israel has committed “genocide” in Gaza Strip.
While the war of words is on in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, two Israeli tank shells have hit a fuel tank of the Gaza Strip’s only power plant. A huge cloud of black smoke was seen rising after the explosion above the coastal city on Tuesday.
The Associated Press posted the video of the event which showed heavy clouds of smoke and occasional sight of fire in the video.
The attack came at a time when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had signaled escalation of operations against Gaza while speaking to the public on Monday. He told his countrymen to be ready for a “prolonged” war.
The message was followed by a warning by the Israeli military to Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to leave their homes and head immediately for Gaza City.
It should be noted that Israel carried out overnight strikes which came only a day after heavy Hamas-Israeli fighting in which nine children were killed by a strike on a Gaza park. Both side had blamed each other for the tragedy.
In central Gaza City early Tuesday, at least two major explosions hit a media complex housing the offices of Hamas-run Al Aqsa television and radio. The blasts shook surrounding buildings and started a fire on the roof of the office block, one of Gaza’s tallest.
AP video showed a massive flash as the first strike hit the top of the building, sending debris raining down. The building also houses offices of a number of Arab satellite television news channels.
A loud explosion was also heard within the Abu Khadra government complex in Gaza City.
“If true, this would have a further devastating humanitarian impact on the beleaguered civilians of those areas of the Gaza Strip, who have already undergone immense suffering in recent days,” it said. “The United Nations agencies present in Gaza do not have the resources on the ground to cope with, or provide assistance to, an enormous extra influx of desperate people.”
The latest bloodshed came despite mounting international calls for a cease-fire and followed failed attempts by both sides to agree to even a lull in fighting of several hours for the start of the three-day Muslim holiday of Eid el-Fitr that marks the end of Ramadan.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have been pressing Israel to accept an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire.
Netanyahu had said that Israel won’t end its offensive until Hamas’ network of tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border has been neutralized. “We need to be ready for a prolonged campaign,” he said. “We will continue to act aggressively and responsibly until the mission is completed to protect our citizens, soldiers and children.”
To which Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri responded defiantly. “His threats do not scare Hamas or the Palestinian people, and the occupation will pay the price for the massacres against civilians and children,” he said.
In addition to all this, Iran has started raising its voice against Israel now. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday said that Israel has committed “genocide” in Gaza Strip.
“What Israeli authorities are doing in Gaza today is a genocide and a big historical disaster,” Khamenei said when addressing a huge crowd gathered to mark the festival of Eid al-Fitr at the end of Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
“A rabid dog and a rapacious wolf have attacked the oppressed people and the world should react to this,” Khamenei said.
Khamenei also rejected calls for disarming the Islamic militants in Gaza, saying that “the US president has issued a fatwa (decree) that the resistance should be disarmed so that the militants cannot respond to the Israel offensive in Gaza”.
“The Islamic states and the West should help supply the Palestinian people with arms,” Khamenei added.
Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive in Gaza July 8, Palestinian deaths have soared to 1,074 with at least 6,500 wounded, the Gaza health ministry said.
According to the Israeli army, at least 43 Israeli soldiers have been killed in operations, while three civilians were killed during rocket attacks on Israel.