Lebanese Shia cleric Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah labeled the attack on a Jerusalem religious school a heroic act.
“The heroic operation in Jerusalem proved that the mujahedeen in Palestine are able to hit the Zionists hard,” he said in his Friday sermon, referring to an attack by a gunman on a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem Thursday that left eight dead.
“It was a natural reaction to the barbaric Israeli violence in Gaza,” he added in reference to an Israeli air and ground operation that has left more than 130 dead since last week.
Fadlallah also slammed the US administration for its unconditional support of Israel and its dispatch of a destroyer to international waters off the coast of Lebanon.
“The dispatch of its warships to the Lebanese coast is an attempt to distract from its political and security failures in pressuring the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine,” he said of Washington.
“It is to reassert its complete support of the Zionist enemy in the massacres it conducts in Gaza and the West Bank.”
The USS Cole's deployment to waters off Lebanon signaled US concern over a protracted political crisis in the country. The ship was replaced by two other warships on Wednesday.