Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh Monday evening and affirmed Tehran’s support for the Palestinian “resistance”.
Iran provides significant backing to both Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and that of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group, the Al-Quds Brigades. It was the PIJ who carried out the rocket attacks against Israel last week and the group is directly funded and commanded by the Iranian regime.
During the call, Zarif praised the terrorists for what he called “the victory the resistance achieved against the occupation in the latest round of fighting with it.”
The conversation between Iran and Hamas was reported by the Iranian state-run IRNA news agency as well as by Hamas official outlets.
“The minister…said that the Islamic Republic of Iran stands with the Palestinian people and its valiant resistance in Gaza,” the report on Hamas’s website said. They use the term “resistance” instead of “terrorism”, but they are referring to military attacks by the terror groups in Gaza.
Senior Hamas members have frequently heaped praise on Iran for its support of its military wing and often visit Tehran to meet top Iranian security and political officials. Just weeks ago Iran said their increased strength was thanks to funding from Iran.
“Iran is the only country that says that the entity [Israel] is carcinogenic and should be uprooted from the region,” Hamas deputy chief Salah al-Arouri told the pro-Hamas Al-Quds TV in February 2018. “It is the only country that is prepared to provide real and public support to the Palestinian resistance and others to confront the entity.”
Last week Israel was bombarded by over 450 rockets from PIJ terrorists. They employed more powerful warheads against the Jewish state which are said to have come from Iran. Thankfully there have been no deaths in Israel as the IDF were able to intercept 90% of the rockets fired. However, some rockets did land on civilian homes in Israel, one hit a busy road and another destroyed a mattress factory.
More than 50 Israelis were injured and many more were suffered from shock. Two people were injured in a direct rocket attack but were said to be recovering. An 8-year-old Israeli girl suffered from a heart attack caused by stress whilst she was hiding in a bomb shelter and the latest reports were that she was in a critical but stable condition. It is a miracle that so few were injured.
All of the PIJ missiles targetted Israeli civilians. Many were fired from civilian areas in Gaza, and as such were a double war crime.
By contrast, Israel struck only the terrorists of PIJ, many of these terrorists were killed whilst launching rockets into Israel.