‘Palestine is not Ukraine’: Threat to US over Israel backing

‘Palestine is not Ukraine’: Threat to US over Israel backing

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Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has threatened the US over involvement in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, after nine Americans were confirmed dead in the fighting so far.

The US has already sent a naval strike group to the region, with the death toll rising above 1000 since the weekend attacks by Hamas.

But Israel is likely to seek further assistance, including arms, the prospect of which prompted Hezbollah to warn the US that “Palestine is not Ukraine”.

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“If the US intervenes directly, all US positions in the region will become legitimate targets of the resistance axis and face our attacks, and on that day there will be no red line,” the statement read in part.

Hezbollah, founded with Iranian backing in the 1980s, is considered a terrorist organisation in Australia. It holds seats in the Lebanese parliament.

The warning comes after US President Joe Biden pledged to offer Israel whatever it needed to defend itself.

READ MORE: Palestinians live in fear as Israel retaliates

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“Let me say this as clearly as I can: This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage,” Biden said.

US intelligence has not yet found any direct evidence that Iran was involved in planning or directing Saturday’s incursion by Hamas militants, but officials have noted its long-standing support and aid for both that group and Hezbollah.

The attacks have also disrupted the US’ plan to broker a normalisation of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which would unify anti-Iran blocs in the Middle East.

Israel-Hamas conflict: What we know

Hamas militants crossed into Israel by land, sea and air in the early hours of Saturday morning. The militants infiltrated 22 towns and army bases. Civilians and soldiers were killed and taken hostage. At least 700 people have reportedly been killed in Israel.

Israel formally declared war on Hamas on Sunday and have been pounding Gaza with airstrikes. More than 400 Palestinians have reportedly died. Hamas has fired over 4000 rockets into Israel.

The Wall Street Journal today reported Iran helped Palestinian militants plan their shock assault. The US has ordered a large carrier strike force sail to the eastern Med.

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