Iran condemns Israel's Gaza strikes as "terrorism"

DUBAI Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:08am EST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran condemned on Thursday as "organized terrorism" an offensive by Israel against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

"Iran considers the criminal act of Israeli military forces in killing civilians as organized terrorism and strongly condemns it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

The spokesman also criticized what he called "the silence of international organizations claiming to defend human rights," following the strikes.

Israel killed the military commander of Hamas on Wednesday in an air strike on Gaza and threatened an invasion of the enclave.

The Islamist group retaliated on Thursday by firing dozens of rockets into southern Israel, killing three people.

(Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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