Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has harshly criticized Israel's offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Iranian state television quotes Ayatollah Khamenei as urging the leaders of Muslim states to - in his words - "hit the occupying regime in the face."

The Iranian supreme leader also blamed the United States, Israel's main ally, for the deaths of Palestinians in Israeli raids.

Fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza has killed more than 100 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers since Wednesday.

Israel intensified operations against Gaza's Hamas rulers in response to rocket attacks on southern Israel that have killed one Israeli and wounded several others in recent days.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.