As Israel-Hamas clash intensifies, Lukashenko places blame squarely on ‘provocative’ US

Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Lukashenko

The escalation of the military conflict in the Middle East "could lead to a third world war," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in a comment to the BelTA media outlet on Oct. 27.

Iranian and U.S. intervention could exacerbate the conflict, the Belarusian dictator said.

Read also: EU Parliament calls on ICC to consider arrest warrant for Lukashenko

"The third world war may start," he said.

“It can start from there... If the United States and Israel start fighting together against Iran.”

It is "Washington and Israel that are trying to provoke Iran, not vice versa," the Belarusian dictator claimed, calling the situation in the Middle East "a serious mess."

War in Israel

Large-scale hostilities in Israel began early on Oct. 7, when the Palestinian militant group Hamas repeatedly targeted the country with thousands of rockets and missiles. Armed Hamas militants then invaded southern Israel, killing people and taking hostages.

Read also: Ground operation in Gaza to be canceled if Hamas releases all hostages and surrenders – IDF

In response to the Hamas attack, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched Operation Iron Swords, striking the Gaza Strip. During the night of Oct. 8, Israel announced the restoration of control over the majority of the populated areas that had been attacked by Palestinian militants.

Israel’s Cabinet has declared a state of war for the first time since 1973, and the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has warned that the war will be long and challenging.

The IDF announced that it had regained full control of the border with the Gaza Strip on Oct. 10.

On Oct. 15, the New York Times wrote that Israel had postponed the start of a ground operation in Gaza, which had been planned for the weekend, due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Over 1,400 people have lost their lives in recent attacks by Hamas. More than 200 are thought to have been taken hostage by Palestinian militants. Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes have reportedly killed more than 3,400 people, according to Hamas-controlled Palestinian ministries.

Read also: Kremlin betting on global chaos to divide Western attention

Hamas has also accused Israel of striking the Al-Ahli hospital in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 17 and killing hundreds of people inside.

According to the IDF, the deaths at the Al-Ahli hospital were caused by a misfire of a rocket launched by the Islamic Jihad, another anti-Israeli organization operating in Gaza. Neither claim has been independently verified.

On Oct. 17, the United States and Israel announced an agreement on a prospective plan to provide humanitarian aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip.

On Oct, 27, the Israeli Defense Forces increased the number of air strikes on the Gaza Strip, and in the evening announced that ground forces would "expand" their activity at night.

It was later reported that this "expansion" was not yet the expected full-scale invasion.

The IDF entered the Gaza Strip on Oct. 28 as part of an "expansion" of the ground operation against Hamas.

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