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Iranians Protest Civilian Gaza Deaths, Guards Chief Sees 'War of Attrition'

Iranian demonstrators attend a pro-Palestinian rally in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 18, 2023.
Iranian demonstrators attend a pro-Palestinian rally in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 18, 2023.

Thousands of Iranians took part in state-sponsored marches Saturday to protest the deaths of children and other civilians in the Gaza war, and a top military commander said Israel was going toward its doom in a war of attrition.

"Palestine stands on the path of a war of attrition... Israel will face a definitive defeat and end up in the dustbin of history," Revolutionary Guards Commander Hossein Salami said at a rally in the capital Tehran, which was aired live on state TV.

"The battle is not over, the Islamic world will do whatever it has to do. There are still great (unused) capacities left," Salami said, without referring to any possible moves by Iran to join the conflict.

State television showed some protesters carrying bundled white shrouds symbolizing the children killed in Gaza, during the nationwide marches, held ahead of World Children's Day on Monday.

Tensions in the region have flared since a deadly attack by Iran-backed Hamas militants who burst through the border from Gaza into Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking around 240 hostages, including children, according to Israeli tallies.

Gaza health authorities raised their death toll Friday to more than 12,000, including 5,000 children, after Israeli attacks there. The United Nations deems those figures credible, though they are now updated infrequently due to the difficulty of collecting information.

Iran's Foreign Ministry called Saturday on the international community to help stop the "killing machine and organized terrorism of the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people and hold Zionist criminals accountable to justice and international law."

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