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Israel’s Attack on Iranian Mission A ‘Turning Point’ In Gaza Conflict, Says Hezbollah Chief

Israel's Hezbollah chief
Israel's Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah: Source: X

Hezbollah head Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated that Iran would respond to Israel’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. The attack had marked a turning point in the “Gaza conflict.” In televised remarks, he stated that Iran was preparing a response. The US and Israel are already in a state of high alert and a CNN report quoted a senior US administration official saying they expected an Iranian as soon as next week.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said in a statement that seven of its members had been killed in the strike on the consulate building. Senior commander Brig-Gen Mohammad Reza Zahedi and his deputy are among the dead.

Tensions are already high in Iran, as thousands took to the streets of Tehran to mark Al Quds Day. This is held on the final day of Ramzan and in support of the Palestinian cause. However, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement on Wednesday, rejecting Iranian involvement in Palestinian internal affairs. In the statement, he said, “This external interference, particularly by Iran, has no other objective than to sow chaos in the Palestinian internal arena, which will only benefit the Israeli occupation and the enemies of our people. We will not allow our sacred cause and the blood of our people to be exploited for suspicious plots that have nothing to do with them.”

Israel’s Prime Minister is already under pressure to end the war in Gaza. On Friday, the UN Human Rights Office said on Friday that attacks against people involved in humanitarian assistance may amount to war crimes, following a deadly strike by Israel against aid workers in the Gaza strip. “Attacking people or objects involved in humanitarian assistance may amount to a war crime,” U.N. Human Rights Office spokesperson Jeremy Laurence said. “As the High Commissioner has repeatedly stated, impunity must end.”

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Celebrity Chef and Founder of World Central Kitchen Jose Andres lost seven colleagues when Israeli air strikes hit his convoy on Tuesday. Andres said they shouldn’t have been at risk in the first place because the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) knew the movements of the convoy. He does not believe Israel’s version that the strike was ‘unintentional’. Global leaders have condemned the deaths of the humanitarian workers. While Australia’s PM Anthony Albanese called Israel’s explanation “not good enough” Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has called it “unacceptable.”

In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his regret and said the strikes were “unintended.”

Israel said on Friday it has dismissed two officers over the air strikes.

President Biden also spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu post the strike on Thursday. In the two months following the Oct. 7 attacks, Biden approved two emergency transfers of military aid to Israel worth $254 million. On Monday, hours before the killing of the World Central Kitchen workers, the U.S. approved the shipment of some 2,000 bombs to Israel’s arsenal, according to CNN. The US president reportedly told Netanyahu that he must protect civilians or there would be consequences.