In a statement on Sunday, Iran called for restraint and an immediate halt of the large-scale Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
Israel attacked the impoverished strip on Saturday, leaving 800 people in a critical state. The Saturday attacks are widely believed to be one of the worst in... Show More >>In a statement on Sunday, Iran called for restraint and an immediate halt of the large-scale Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
Israel attacked the impoverished strip on Saturday, leaving 800 people in a critical state. The Saturday attacks are widely believed to be one of the worst in the 60-year history of the Israeli occupation.
"The international community is duty bound to defend Gaza civilians in the face of Israel's genocide and crimes against humanity," the Foreign Ministry statement reads according to press tv.
"Tel Aviv's bombardment of the Gaza Strip is yet another brazen example of Israel's terrorist mindset and its gross violation of human rights," it adds.
The statement condemns the barrage of Israeli attacks on civilian non-military targets as being in stark defiance of the Geneva Convention and UN resolutions.
Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that no protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed, hence collective punishment and all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
The Saturday onslaught came after a six-month truce between Israel and the democratically-elected Palestinian government of Hamas expired on December 19 - and after repeated violations by Tel Aviv.
The Arab world reacted in shock to the Israeli incursion into Gaza and stepped up calls for retaliation against Israel.
"Today everybody has to stand by the side of the Palestinian people and stop this blind military action," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
Russia and France have also decried the large-scale operations, demanding that Israel immediately halt its attacks on the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, however, snubbed international appeals for an end to the attacks and asserted that operations against Gaza will go on for "as long as necessary".
"There is a time for cease-fires and a time to fight, and now is the time to fight," said Barak, adding that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and security forces have been masterminding the Gaza invasion "for months".
In a televised speech on Sunday, Barak confirmed that Tel Aviv may even send ground troops into Gaza to help in carrying out fresh attacks on the coastal strip.
The UN Security Council held emergency consultations Saturday night and early Sunday to outline a resolution, by which Israel would be obliged to halt its military operations "without delay". Show Less >>
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