Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Israel’s leaders of committing “genocide” in Gaza and called on the Islamic world to arm Palestinians fighting “the Zionist regime,” according to AFP.
In a speech marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, Khamenei said Israel was acting like a “rabid dog” and “a wild wolf” in acts that amounted to a human catastrophe in Gaza and which must be resisted.
Khamenei dismissed talk of a ceasefire in Gaza, saying it was a ploy by the United States and European states to save Israel and said Hamas should be re-armed, rather than disarmed as otherwise they will be “unable to defend themselves.”
“The US president issued a fatwa that the resistance is disarmed so that they cannot respond to all those crimes (committed by Israel),” the supreme leader said, referring to a call by Barack Obama for the “disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza”.
“We say the opposite. The world and especially the Islamic world should arm … the Palestinian people,” Khamenei said.
Last week, Khamenei called on the Palestinian Arabs to keep fighting Israel and to expand their “resistance” from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.
“The only way to deal with this savage regime is to continue resistance and armed struggle and extend it to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria -ed.),” the official IRNA news agency quoted Khamenei as saying.
Iran, which does not recognize Israel, is a supporter of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups that have been at the forefront of the fighting in Gaza.
Iran has provided Hamas and Islamic Jihad with long-range missiles such as the Fajr-5 and M302 – the latter of which is believed to have been used in the attack on Hadera in north-central Israel Monday. Earlier this year, Israeli naval commandos seized the Klos C ship, and discovered weapons including long-range rockets destined for terrorist groups in Gaza.
Despite its active role in providing the rockets raining down on Israeli population centers, Iran condemned the IDF operation aiming to stop the rockets as “savage aggression” earlier this month.
Khamenei and other Iranian leaders have been for years attacking Israel and calling for its elimination – and has used the phrase “rabid dog” to describe Israel on more than one occasion.
In November, Khamenei said that Israel is a “regime doomed to collapse” and referred to the Jewish state as “the rabid dog of the region.”
Several weeks before that, he called Israel an “illegitimate and bastard regime,” and further called the United States a “smiling enemy” that is not to be trusted.