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TEHRAN: Iran on Friday blamed Israel and the United States for a resumption of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

“After killing more than 15,000 Palestinians, the Zionist vampires have started a new round of killing under the continued support of the American government,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Deadly fighting restarted in Gaza on Friday immediately after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas.

Kanani added that “the political and legal responsibility for the continuation of the aggression and massacre” rests with Israel, the US and “a few governments that support this apartheid regime.”

On Thursday, US top diplomat Antony Blinken, meeting Israeli and Palestinian officials, called for the pause in hostilities to be extended, and warned any resumption of combat must protect Palestinian civilians.

Other world leaders, and aid groups, had also sought an extended pause.

“The nations and the vast majority of the governments of the world are shouting for the continuation of the ceasefire and the complete stop to the Zionist regime’s attacks against Gaza and the West Bank,” Kanani said.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said fighting had resumed after Hamas “violated” the truce, as Israel’s army reported the interception of a rocket fired from Gaza about an hour before the pause expired.

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas by launching air strikes and a ground military campaign in the Palestinian territory, where the health ministry said nearly 15,000 people, also mostly civilians, were killed before the truce.

Iran, which has labelled Israel’s military campaign in Gaza a genocide, has denied any direct involvement in Hamas’s attack on Israel.

During the truce, mediated by Qatar with Egyptian and American support, 80 Israeli hostages were freed in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

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