Israeli aircraft hit Gaza as Netanyahu blames Iran
Palestinians look at a fire in a destroyed building on March 14, after an Israeli air strike on Gaza City. Israel’s prime minister accuses Iran of arming Gaza militants. AFP photoIsraeli aircraft and Gaza rocket squads traded strikes across the border yesterday as the Israeli prime minister blamed Iran for the violence from the Palestinian territory.
Benjamin Netanyahu, going a step further in his warnings to Iran, hinted that Israel didn’t need Washington’s blessing to go ahead and attack Iran’s suspect nuclear program. Yesterday’s cross-border violence tested a shaky truce Israel and Gaza militants reached earlier this week to halt a four-day flare in fighting. Since then, sporadic rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes have persisted. Israeli aircraft struck two militant sites in Gaza before dawn yesterday in response to rocket fire a day earlier. Gaza gunmen retaliated by launching two rockets at Israel by midday, police said. No injuries were reported on either side.In a speech to parliament on Wednesday, Netanyahu accused Iran of arming, financing and training Gaza militants, and giving them their marching orders. “Gaza is Iran,” Netanyahu declared.
Hamas thanks Iran
While Netanyahu branding Gaza as an “advance post for Iran,” a senior Hamas figure in Gaza, Mahmud Zahar, is visiting Tehran for meetings with top Iranian officials, media reported yesterday. Zahar, who serves as Hamas’s foreign minister, met his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, who voiced his country’s support for the Palestinians. Salehi condemned Israeli air strikes on Gaza, the official IRNA news agency reported. “Support for the Palestinian population is part of our principles and religious beliefs and we are certain that the Palestinian people
will triumph,” he said. Zahar, in return, thanked Iran for its “limitless support.”