Sunday, May 23, 2021

Iran's Role In The Gaza Conflict

Iran and the Fourth Gaza War

Yochanan Visser 

Much has been written about the Fourth Gaza War, as I call it, but less about the Iranian role in it.

In fact, Iran played a crucial role in instigating the war and the preparations for it by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei incited the Arab masses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria in the weeks leading up to the war, calling upon Palestinian Arabs to “defend” the al-Aqsa mosque and denouncing Israel as a “terrorist base”.

Iran upped its funding of Hamas during the war and is now paying $30 million per month to Hamas alone. Aside from the money, Iran is giving other forms of aid to Hamas as we will see below.

PIJ receives even more and not only in terms of money. The Iranian proxy receives weapons, training, money, and even food from the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said PIJ leader Ramez al-Halabi, one of the leaders of PIJ during an interview with al-Ahd TV in Iraq.

PIJ leader Ziad al-Nakhala was similarly blunt when he told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV Channel the following: “all the conventional weapons reached Gaza via (assassinated Quds Force commander) al-Hajj Qassem Soleimani. Hezbollah, Syria, and the entire resistance axis played a part in transporting them.”

Iran tried to become directly involved in the latest war with the Palestinian Arab terror groups by again sending a drone full of explosives from Syria across the Jordanian border with Israel last week.

Just as some years ago, when Iran for the first time sent a drone into Israeli airspace, the latest UAV was downed by the Israeli army in the vicinity of the Israeli town of Beit Shean.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that the downed drone was Iranian during his meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas last week.

Iran was more than instrumental when it comes to the build-up of the rocket and missile arsenals of Hamas and PIJ. It is true that today the Gazan terrorist organizations are able to build their own projectiles. Even the Ayyash, Hamas’ medium-range missile with a range of 250 kilometers was built in Gaza, but Iranian assistance was crucial in this process.

Hamas’ representative in Iran, Khaled Qaddoumi, told Al-Monitor that “The Islamic Republic of Iran has helped a lot in transferring knowledge and expertise on one side, and transporting rockets on the other.”

He added that Iran helped Hamas to depend on its own local capabilities to produce such advanced technology.


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