New Delhi: As Israeli airstrikes continue to pound Gaza since Hamas militants unleashed an attack on Israel on October 7, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “the defeat of the Zionist regime (Israel) in Gaza is a fact”, news agency AFP reported. The remark comes as Gaza’s Hamas government reported on Sunday that the death toll from the ongoing conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in the Palestinian territory has reached 13,000 since the war began on October 7.
The Hamas government said more than 5,500 children were among the dead, alongside 3,500 women, with 30,000 more people wounded. Its health ministry has previously said it can no longer give exact tolls as intense fighting has prevented bodies from being recovered.
Khamenei further said “despite the massive bombings Israel has so far failed” to achieve its “target” of destroying Hamas.
“Advancing and entering hospitals or people’s homes is not a victory, because victory means defeating the other side. This incapacity reflects the inability of the United States and Western countries,” AFP quoted Khamenei as saying.
Khamenei made the statement during his visit to an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps aerospace force centre in Tehran, according to AFP.
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Tehran’s supreme leader further said that “Israel killed thousands of children without any remorse because Zionists consider themselves to be a superior race,” AFP reported.
Khamenei also urged the other Muslim nations that have formal relations with Israel to “cut off” their ties and halt trade. “Some Islamic governments have not yet condemned Israel’s actions in Gaza, but this is not acceptable,” AFP quoted Khamenei as saying.
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It is to be noted that Iran, which gives military and financial support to Hamas has hailed the October 7 attacks on Israel a “success”. However, it has denied any involvement in it.
Meanwhile, according to the Hamas government, among the 13,000 casualties are more than 5,500 children and 3,500 women, with an additional 30,000 people wounded, AFP reported. The intensity of the fighting has made it challenging for the health ministry to provide exact tolls, as recovery efforts for the bodies have been impeded.
Amid Israel’s ongoing military offensive, north Gaza’s biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, was evacuated, barring 120 of the most vulnerable patients and five doctors.
As Israeli strike continued to pound the area, basic medical resources for the patients were available, according to reports.