Iranian students signing up to fight Israel


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Iranian students signing up to fight Israel

12:49 | 30/ 12/ 2008
MOSCOW, December 30 (RIA Novosti) - Some 7,000 Iranian students in the city of Isfahan have volunteered to fight for Palestine against Israel while more students are signing up in Tehran, the Fars news agency said on Tuesday.
On Sunday, Iran's religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a religious decree calling for a jihad against Israel for its air strikes on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip that started on Saturday leaving around 360 Palestinians dead and over 1,500 wounded.
"In response to the supreme leader's orders for a jihad (holy war), students from the bassij militia are going to register . . . to go to fight in the occupied Palestinian territories," Fars cited Alireza Zahedi as saying on Monday.
The attacks have led to numerous public protests in Iranian cities and across the world.
The Tehran Times said protesters in Tehran held banners reading, "Death to Israel," "Death to America" and "Muslims unite."
Israel said its large-scale air offensive on Gaza was an "all-out war" on Hamas and Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon said on Monday, "The goal of the operation is to topple Hamas."
In response to Israeli airstrikes, Palestinian militants launched over 80 rockets and mortar shells on southern Israel killing three people with over 35 others injured, some of them seriously.
Tel Aviv has mobilized up to 6,500 reservists and deployed tanks along Gaza's border in preparation for a possible ground offensive on the coastal enclave of 1.5 million Palestinians.
Iran does not officially recognize the state of Israel and finances the militant political faction Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.