Syria accuses Israel of killing Iran's Revolutionary Guards intelligence chief
Tensions in the Middle East have not subsided. Senior members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards have been killed again in an airstrike in Damascus. Iran and Syria blame Israel for the attack.
BAccording to Iranian sources, several members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were killed in an airstrike in the Syrian capital Damascus. This information was reported by the State Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday. The channel's Arabic department said two senior advisers were among the dead. State television blamed Israel for the attack.
According to the Iranian Mehr news agency, the Iranians are officers of the IRGC intelligence. A man responsible for the attack, his accomplice and two others are said to have died.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least six people were killed in the Israeli strike. The four-storied building that came under attack was completely destroyed. According to activists, a meeting of officials loyal to Iran took place there. The Israeli military did not initially comment.
A report by Syrian state news agency SANA said the attack was “a consequence of Israel's occupation”. Pictures on social media showed a destroyed house by the roadside.
Israel's air force has repeatedly bombed targets in neighboring Syria. Israel wants to prevent its arch-enemy Iran and its allied militias from expanding their military influence in the country. Iran is one of Syria's most important allies.
Borrell accuses Israel of “creating” and “funding” Hamas
Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell spoke in favor of “imposing from outside” a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict. He accused Israel of “creating” and “funding” the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas. “We believe that a two-state solution must be imposed from outside to bring peace,” Borrell said in a speech at a university in the Spanish city of Valladolid on Friday evening. Israel continues to oppose the creation of a Palestinian state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been “boycotting” the two-state solution for 30 years, Borrell said. “To stop them, they themselves created Hamas. Hamas was funded by the Israeli government to weaken Fatah's Palestinian Authority.
“If we do not intervene forcefully, the cycle of hatred and violence will continue to circulate from generation to generation, from funeral to funeral,” said the EU foreign policy chief, who received an honorary doctorate in Valladolid.
The issue of the two-state solution has created tension between Israel and key allies such as the United States. Netanyahu recently reiterated his rejection of an independent Palestinian state and justified this with Israeli security needs. US President Joe Biden expressed his continued support for Palestinian statehood during a phone call with the Israeli prime minister on Friday.
Critics accuse Netanyahu of condoning payments from Qatar
In recent years, millions of dollars from Qatar have flowed into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Critics accuse Netanyahu of approving these payments and thereby supporting the financing of Hamas, which the head of government denies. Hamas was founded shortly after the first intifada began in December 1987. The movement originated as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and saw itself as a counterpoint to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
It initially operated as a purely charitable organization, setting up schools and other social institutions, which gained great popularity among the impoverished population of the Gaza Strip and led to its victory in the Palestinian territories' last parliamentary elections in 2006.
Since then, rivalries with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party have intensified. Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007 after fighting Fatah militias.
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