Iran, Syria condemn Israel over Gaza operation

Tehran describes Israeli offensive as "organized terrorism"; Assad denounces Israel's "heinous atrocities."

Syrian President Assad, Iranian President Ahmadinejad 311R (photo credit: Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters)
Syrian President Assad, Iranian President Ahmadinejad 311R
(photo credit: Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters)
Iran condemned on Thursday as "organized terrorism" an offensive by Israel against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
"Iran considers the criminal act of Israeli military forces in killing civilians as organized terrorism and strongly condemns it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
The spokesman also criticized what he called "the silence of international organizations claiming to defend human rights," following the strikes.
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Iran's condemnation followed a statement by Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on Wednesday denouncing Israeli "atrocities" in Gaza.
"The Syrian government condemns the heinous atrocities committed by the enemy Israeli army against the Arab Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip," AFP quoted a statement carried by the official Syrian news agency SANA as saying.
Assad concluded by urging the international community to "pressure Israel to stop the sinful aggression on our people in the defiant Gaza Strip."
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman on Thursday also condemned as "barbaric" Israel’s ongoing operation in Gaza, according to Lebanon's Daily Star.
“The open war against Gaza, which Israel started with barbaric aggression, is not unusual for Israeli policy that only uses the language of killing and destruction,” Sleiman reportedly said in a statement.
“It is about time for the enemy to realize that the aggression policy has been proven futile,” Sleiman added.
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri also weighed in, saying “Israel’s renewed attacks against Gaza prove the aggressive policy adopted by Israel against Palestinians and Arabs in general.
"Israel insists on keeping control over Palestinian territories and preventing all attempts to establish an independent Palestinian State,” he said.