Starting on Thursday footage began widely circulating online showing IDF troops holding an Israeli flag raising ceremony, laying stake to conquered areas of the Strip. In a short speech during the ceremony on a Gaza beach, just prior to leading troops in the national anthem, an IDF soldier said "this is our land" and told his forces they are leading the way for Jews "to return to our lands."
Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian conveyed the statement in a phone call with Qatar's prime minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, according to state media.
"Due to the expansion of the intensity of the war against Gaza's civilian residents, expansion of the scope of the war has become inevitable," Amirabdollahian said. He separately posted to X that "time is running out" for Israel, and stated, "The only benefit of Netanyahu was that he made the foundations of the fake Israeli regime more shaky and showed the criminal, violent, and aggressive face of the Zionist regime in the massacre of women and children in Gaza."