Iran slams 'economic genocide' in Gaza
As Israel continues its seizure of Gaza following its 22-day war in late 2008, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili condemns the blockade on the coastal strip, Press TV reported.
"Continuation of the seizure of people in Gaza is an economic genocide," Jalili said in a meeting with the visiting Hamas political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal in Tehran on Monday.
Jalili said Tehran would continue its support for the Palestinian people and called on "all freedom-seeking nations and countries to support ideals of the Palestinians".
Israel imposed a crippling siege on the Gaza Strip after the Hamas movement took full control of the territory in June 2007 on suspicion that Fatah security forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the acting Palestinian Authority chief, were planning to stage a coup and overthrow the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
The Israeli army meanwhile launched a massive military offensive, known as Operation Cast Lead against the coastal Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009. More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed during the three-week offensive, which inflicted $1.6 billion damage on the Gaza economy.
Jalili praised resistance of Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement against Israel and said victories of Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel show that the right of the oppressed Palestinian people can only be restored through resistance against Israel's atrocities.
Meshaal, for his part, praised Iran's leading role in the honorable victory of the Palestinian people against Israel and said Hamas would continue its resistance against Tel Aviv.