The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari on Wednesday decried several “treacherous” regional countries for their silence and inaction against Israel in the aftermath of the deaths of nearly 60 Palestinians on the Gaza border on Monday.
Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, Major General Jafari reportedly condemned the killings of dozens of the “oppressed people” of Palestine and said that “the treacherous states” that claim they are advocates of Islam are complicit in the oppression of the oppressed people of the region, including the Palestinians, according to Iran’s Tasnim News agency. “The world is full of oppression by the occupying Zionist regime and the United States,” Jafari reportedly said.
The Iranian news report describes the countries Jafari was referring to as “regional,” suggesting they are the Muslim nations surrounding Israel and Iran.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt issued statements about the deaths of the Palestinians.
A Saudi foreign ministry spokesman reportedly said, “Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces’ gunfire against unarmed Palestinian civilians which has left dozens of dead and wounded.”
Saudi Arabia has developed a quiet relationship with Israel over the past few years through their mutual concerns about Iran and its support for Hezbollah. In January, a report surfaced that Saudi Arabia has considered purchasing Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in an effort to counter the threat from Iran.
Egypt and Jordan reportedly issued a joint statement of condemnation saying, “It’s an unacceptable escalation in Gaza. We condemn Israel’s violence against peaceful protesters and the innocent lives who went to practice their right of expression to reject the occupation.”
The tepid remarks stand in stark contrast with Iran’s condemnation of Israel and Turkey’s declaration that the situation in Gaza was a “genocide.”
In comparison, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi reportedly said, “The killing of defenseless Palestinian children, women and people, and the occupation of Palestinian territories, have turned into the Zionists’ main strategy during the past 70 years when the Palestinian land has been under occupation.”
He added, “Today, the US embassy and government are in a festive mood in the face of the brutal massacre of innocent people. The non-stop and incessant crimes committed by the Zionists in Palestine are the result of the United States’ unflinching support as well as the treacherous compromise and humiliating inaction of certain Middle East states, and they are undoubtedly responsible for, and accomplices to the unjust bloodletting in occupied Palestine as well as the sufferings and hardships.”
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, “the United States, unfortunately, took its place without complaint alongside the Israeli government in this massacre of civilians and became a party to this crime against humanity. This is a vile massacre and we condemn it strongly.”
The Palestinian deaths were the result of violent protests against America’s opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, which President Donald Trump officially recognized as Israel’s eternal capital in December.
On Wednesday, Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, a Hamas official, said that at least 50 of the Gazans killed on Monday during clashes with Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) were Hamas terrorists:
Hamas official, Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil is clear about terrorist involvement in the riots pic.twitter.com/p5My6JGQRr
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 16, 2018
Iran’s state-run Press TV reported that Rouhani said, “On this land, ‘legitimate defense by the Zionists’ makes no sense” at a government meeting on Wednesday. He added, “The Zionist regime and the United States assume that by exercising more pressure, they can deny the Palestinian nation its legitimate right or can separate the world’s Muslims from their [holy] land of al-Quds. They are making a great mistake.”