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Middle East

“Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas Are One Axis of Evil,” Israeli DM Says

October 13, 2023
2 min read
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has said that the Lebanese and Palestinian armed groups Hezbollah and Hamas are part of "one axis of evil" with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Gallant made the comments on October 13 during a press conference with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin, as fighting raged into its seventh day after Hamas launched an unprecedented assault on Israel.

"Everything is directed, generally, from Iran. The permission is given by Iran, money is supplied by Iran, and ideas are shaped in Iran," the minister said when asked whether he had seen evidence of Iranian involvement in planning or executing the attack on Israel.

"Therefore, it doesn't matter if they give or didn’t give the permission [because] the idea is an Iranian idea," he added.

The Islamic Republic has made no secret of its backing for Hamas and Hezbollah, funding and arming the groups.

As Israel is preparing for a possible ground offensive in the hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, the country’s political and military leaders are nervously watching Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border and have sent troop reinforcements to the area. 

During a visit to Beirut on October 13, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with the head of Hezbollah and Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

He said that the United States’ unlimited support for Israel will further aggravate the situation, warning: “Some are worried about the spread of war in the region and the emergence of new fronts.”

Israel has imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip, denying it food, fuel and other essentials, and has signaled that a ground invasion could follow its pounding of the Palestinian  territory.

Gallant said Palestinian civilians "who want to save their lives" must evacuate Gaza – amid UN warnings that the humanitarian crisis there could spiral.

"This is a war for the existence of Israel as a prosperous state, as a democratic state, as homeland of the Jewish people," he said.

"We are fighting for our home. We are fighting for our future," the Israeli minister said. "The path will be long, but ultimately I promise you we will win."

At least 1,300 Israelis have been killed in the burst of violence, while dozens of soldiers and civilians, including women and children, are being held in Gaza as hostages. More than 1,300 Palestinians have also been killed in Israeli air strikes.

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