Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calls on the world to stand up to the “terrible brutality” happening in Gaza and prevent Israeli plans to inflict more harm on the Palestinian people, a statement citing him said on Wednesday.
Hamas militants carried out their deadliest attack in Israel’s history on Saturday, when gunmen rampaged through Israeli towns, killing more than 1,000 people and taking scores of hostages to Gaza.
Israel has retaliated with air strikes on Gaza that have razed entire districts and has put Gaza under “total siege” to stop food and fuel reaching the enclave of 2.3 million people, many poor and dependent on aid.
Hamas media said on Wednesday electricity went out after the only power station stopped working.
Retaliatory strikes on the blockaded enclave have killed 1,055 people and wounded 5,184, with some 535 residential buildings destroyed leaving around 250,000 homeless, Gaza’s Hamas authorities said. Most of the displaced were in U.N.-designated shelters, others huddling in shattered streets.
“Ending the tragedy of this honourable people, which has been ongoing for seven decades, by attaining them their legitimate right and ending the occupation from their usurped lands, is the only way to achieve peace and security in this region,” al-Sistani said in a statement.
“Without that, the resistance will continue against aggressors and the cycle of violence will continue to claim more innocent lives,” the statement added.