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Iran Continues To Voice Strong Support For Militant Armed Groups In Gaza

Iran has continued to voice strong support for the armed miliatnt Palestinian groups firing rockets and missiles at civilian targets in Israel and reiterated its support for these groups.

As the seventh day of fierce military confrontations between Israel and armed Palestinian groups in Gaza dawned on Sunday, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) targeted the home of Hamas’s chief in Gaza and more than 100 Palestinian rockets were fired at towns and cities.

At least 153 people have been killed in Gaza as of Sunday morning local time, including 42 children, health officials said. Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children.

The thousands of more advanced rockets and missiles fired by Palestinian groups show that Iran’s military support and assistance in missile technology has boosted the ability of militant groups to threaten civilians in Israel.

The commander of Iran’s extraterritorial Qods (Quds) Force Esmail Ghaani (Qaani) held a telephone conversation with Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas on Saturday, Tasnim news agency close to the Revolutionary Guard reported.

The two sides discussed the latest developments, a statement issued by Hamas said. Ghaani reiterated Iran’s support for “Palestinian resistance” and praised the “unparalleled and successful resistance in confronting the Zionist enemy”. Haniyeh also praised Iran’s assistance and said that the fight against Israel is the battle of all Muslims.

Ghaani also called Ziyad al-Nakhalah the leader of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, the second armed militant group attacking Israel. In a short dispatch Tasnim repeated the same formulations about their conversation, saying the Iranian general reiterated his country’s support to the “resistance”.

Khatteh Hezbollah or Hezbollah’s Line, a weekly publication of Khamenei’s office which is widely distributed at Friday prayers and all military and government bodies, on May 14 praised “the full hands of the Resistance”, referring to the increased missile capabilities of Hamas and others. It expressed satisfaction that “in the last 38 hours more than 1,000 rockets and missiles were fired at occupied lands and residents fled to shelters.” It also praised the militants for targeting Tel Aviv and Israel’s oil facilities that it said would not be possible without advanced guidance systems.

Khattheh Hezbollah, however went on to say that the “winning card” in the hands of the militants were drones, added to their arsenal in recent years. Reports have said that Hamas drones sent into Israel during the current conflict are adapted version of older Iranian drones that Houthis in Yemen have also used to attack Saudi Arabia.

The United Nations Security Council was due to meet later on Sunday to discuss the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reminded all sides "that any indiscriminate targeting of civilian and media structures violates international law and must be avoided at all costs,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Saturday.

Israel's security cabinet was also due to meet early Sunday to discuss the hostilities. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address late on Saturday that Israel was "still in the midst of this operation, it is still not over, and this operation will continue as long as necessary".

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