Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and military commanders, continue threatening Israel while Israel is preparing for a possible ground offensive.
In one such threats, Ali Fadavi, the outspoken deputy commander of the IRGC, warned that Israel might face another surprise from Hamas if it proceeds with a ground offensive in Gaza.
Khamenei in a speech on Tuesday made indirect threats, saying that Muslims everywhere are angry, and it might be hard to control their reactions if Israeli ground forces enter the Gaza Strip. He also dismissed the issue of more than 1,300 Israeli civilian deaths, saying that even more Palestinians have been killed.
Israel awaits the arrival of US President Joe Biden on Wednesday in a bid to contain the conflict and prevent other players, such as Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, from getting involved.
In the meantime, in a video on social media an Iranian individual, most likely an IRGC officer in southern Lebanon is heard speaking in Persian "begging someone for something" over the phone or wireless radio. This is not the only indication that there are probably Iranians on the northern and southern borders of Israel helping the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
In Tehran, the hardline Farhikhtegan newspaper has reported without giving any sources or evidence that the US government has sent a message in writing to Iranian officials via Amir Saeed Iravani, the Islamic Republic's UN envoy in New York, calling on Iran to help contain the conflict over Gaza.
According to Farhikhtegan, the letter sent by the US government has four paragraphs three of which are about containing the conflict and preventing it from spilling into the region, and the fourth paragraph is a warning to Iran that if it enters the ongoing war, the United States will also become a party to the conflict. Since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, many observers have stated that if the United States enters the war, that would be a war against Iran and Hezbollah.
In another development, Acting IRGC Commander Ali Fadavi said on Tuesday that if Israel insists on carrying out a ground operation in Gaza, it will face another big surprise. This was a clear threat that Hamas operatives might attempt to enter Israeli territory once again or other Iranian proxies might open new fronts against Israel. Iranian officials have repeatedly issued the same threat during the past week.
In the meantime, news agencies quoted senior Hamas leaders as saying that non-Israelis held by Hamas in Gaza are not hostages and that they are likely to be released. However, those reports did not elaborate on how many foreigners have been taken hostage, and when, where and how they are going to be released. The reports simply said that foreign hostages will be released as the situation warrants. Promises to release the hostages are usually tactics to delay a major assault.
The Lebanese Hizballah also released a statement reporting that its forces have attacked IDF vehicles Tuesday morning at the border between Israel and Lebanon, the government-owned Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.
Meanwhile, Al-Mayadin TV in Lebanon, which is linked to the Iranian government, reported on Tuesday that "Resistance forces" have targeted Israeli espionage devices near the border.
Al-Mayadin also reported that two Hezbollah gunmen have been killed in a conflict with Israeli forces Tuesday morning.