Head of powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps tells Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader ‘we will be with you on this path to the end’.
The Palestinians “are not alone” in their fight against Israel, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said, as they faced a second day of airstrikes in Gaza.
“Today, all anti-Zionist jihadi capabilities are on the scene in a united formation working to liberate Jerusalem and defend the rights of the Palestinian people,” IRGC Major General Hossein Salami said in a statement on his Sepah News website.
“We are with you on this road to the end, and let Palestine and the Palestinians know that they are not alone,” he told visiting Islamic Jihad group leader Ziad al-Nakhala during a meeting in Tehran.
Israel has said it launched a “preemptive” operation against Islamic Jihad on Friday to prevent an imminent attack following days of tensions along the Gaza border.
A senior commander of the group was killed in an airstrike in Gaza City on Friday, one of a wave of attacks in the territory.
The Gaza Health Ministry said a five-year-old girl was among 15 people killed by the Israeli bombardment. More than 100 people have been injured.
Palestinian fighters responded with a barrage of rockets at Israel in the worst blast from the territory since last year’s war.
Israeli forces continue to attack the Gaza Strip with airstrikes for the second day.
Nida Ibrahim explains that tensions have been high since Israeli forces arrested an Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank on Monday ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/zX2okqgBdi
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) August 6, 2022
Salami stressed that the Palestinian response showed that “a new chapter has begun” and Israel “will pay another heavy price for recent crime.”
“The Palestinian resistance is stronger today than in the past,” he said, adding that armed groups have found “the ability to handle big wars.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s “brutal attack” on Gaza.
President Ebrahim Raisi said Israel “has once again shown its occupying and aggressive nature to the world,” according to a statement from his office.
Iran supports Islamic Jihad and al-Nakhala met with Raisi and other officials during his visit.
Israel accused Iran of smuggling weapons to Palestinian groups in Gaza. In March last year, he said he intercepted two Iranian drones carrying weapons for Gaza.