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Business News/ News / World/  Israel faces multi-pronged Middle East war? Iran warns of ‘axis’ response as Hezbollah says it's ‘fully prepared'

Israel faces multi-pronged Middle East war? Iran warns of ‘axis’ response as Hezbollah says it's ‘fully prepared'

  • Fears of regional warfare escalate amid Israel-Hamas attacks, as Hezbollah says they are ‘fully prepareed’ t join Hamas at the right time, and Raisi's Iran says Israel might face a response from Tehran's allies

A Palestinian shouts following an Israeli strike, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 14, 2023, as fighting between Israel and the Hamas movement continues for the eighth consecutive day. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8

Hezbollah, a militant group in Lebanon has said that they are ‘fully prepared’ to join the Hamas group in their fight against Israel. This also comes at a time when Iran has also warned that Israel "could receive a response" from Tehran's allies thereby accentuating fears of a full-blown regional warfare amid the ongoing violent attacks between Israel and Hamas fighters.

Currently, people are scrambling to evacuate northern Gaza even as Hamas told Palestinians to stay home. An Israeli shell on Friday, landed in a gathering of international journalists covering clashes on the border in southern Lebanon, killing one and wounding six.

The war that has been going on for eight days now has claimed at least 3,200 lives since Hamas launched an incursion on 7 October.

Hezbollah says 'fully prepared to join war

According to an AFP report, Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qassem said, "We, as Hezbollah, are contributing to the confrontation and will (continue) to contribute to it within our vision and plan," Qassem told a pro-Palestinian rally in Beirut's southern suburbs.

"We are fully prepared, and when the time comes for action, we will take it," he said. Outreach by "major countries, Arab countries, and envoys from the United Nations, directly and indirectly, asking us not to interfere in the battle, will not affect us", he said, adding, "Hezbollah knows its duties."

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Israel's defense forces have been exchanging fire with Lebanon on the northern parts of Israel, since after the Hamas attack on Israel broke all hell loose. Israel considers Hezbollah its most immediate threat, estimating it has some 150,000 rockets and missiles, including precision-guided missiles that can hit anywhere in Israel.

The group, which has thousands of battle-hardened fighters who participated in Syria's 12-year conflict, also has different types of military drones.

Further, Jordan's King Abdullah on Saturday left for a European tour to garner support from the region's leaders for an end to the Israeli "war on Gaza"

Iran warns of ‘Axis’ response

Raisi's Iran has also said that Israel "could receive a response" from Tehran's allies, reported Voice of America.

This statement comes amid growing fears the conflict between Israel and Hamas could spiral into a regional Middle East war.

Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned that Tehran's allies in the region could take action against Israel.

"The continuation of war crimes against Palestine and Gaza will receive a response from the rest of the axis. And naturally, the Zionist entity and its supporters will be responsible for the consequences of that," Amirabdollahian said.

He added that the displacement of Palestinians and cutting water and electricity to the Gaza Strip are considered war crimes.

Although, Amirabdollahian did not specify which groups belonged to the ‘axis’. Tehran's other allies and proxies in the region are Syria, Palestinian militant groups such as Islamic Jihad, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

What happens if Middle East war breaks out?

Considering the Hamas attack on Israel is one of the biggest, Israel has witnessed in the recent past, a calmer Middle East now seems more like a pipe dream. This would also be a huge blow to US President Joe Biden administration who had recently been promoting their successes in soothing Middle East crises.

Further, a war in the west Asia, popularly known as Middle East, would mean a major setback for the oil-rich powerhouses of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which had spent the past few years declaring their commitment to easing regional tensions and arguing that it was time to focus on domestic development.

On the conflict discourse, the war in Israel comes on top of several conflicts that never fully died down, including in Yemen and Syria, and a new war that broke out this year in Sudan.

(With agency inputs)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sayantani Biswas

Sayantani is an editor with Livemint. She covers stories of International and Indian politics, conflict
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