Amid Israel's renewed ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, an Iranian hardline newspaper claims Israelis "still have to see the nightmare of operations larger than October 7."
The firebrand editor of Kayhan newspaper, Hossein Shariatmadari, referenced Khamenei's recent remarks, stating, "Israel is trapped in the quagmire of its attack on Gaza," which was triggered by a surprise invasion of Israel by Hamas on October 7, in which 1,200 mostly civilians were killed and 240 more taken hostage to Gaza.
In spite of the fact half of Gaza is displaced amidst mass destruction from an Israeli retaliation never seen before since Iran-backed Hamas took over the strip in 2007, he said, "Despite all the military assaults and ground incursions into Gaza, Hamas maintains field control." Dozens of Hamas's top commanders have been assassinated and swathes of the strip turned to rubble yet Shariatmadari expressed 'doubt' about a Hamas defeat. Hamas's most wanted live in an extensive underground tunnel network which has also been badly hit by Israeli strikes.
Amidst the comments which mimic regime rhetoric, the Israeli military has issued additional evacuation orders and pledged to strike south Gaza with "no less strength" than the force employed in the north, which has left large areas resembling a moonscape.
Many of Gaza's 2.3 million residents had previously fled to the south following initial orders to evacuate the north in the early days of the conflict.
The Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza reported a death toll exceeding 15,500 since October 7, with over 41,000 Gazans wounded. While the ministry does not distinguish between civilian and combatant casualties, it noted that 70% of the deceased were women and children.