Islamic Jihad Leaders Confirm Iranian Involvement in Gaza
In separate interviews, Islamic Jihad leaders have confirmed that Iran has supplied Gaza terrorist groups with long-range Fajr-5 rockets, despite Iranian denials.
On Sunday, following a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah praising Hamas’s firing of Iran’s Fajr-5 rockets, Iran’s leaders sought to downplay its involvement in Gaza.
“The resistance” does not need Iranian rockets and claimed Iran’s support for Hamas extended only to “spiritual support,” said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee.
However, during an interview on Lebanese TV, senior Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh also confirmed Iran’s involvement, “Of course they [Fajr-5 rockets] are 100% Iranian made, received by the Resistance in the framework of the legitimate aid which the Islamic Republic gives to the Palestinian people,” according to a translated video posted by the blog Elder of Ziyon.
Separately, the Jerusalem Post—citing Islamic Jihad deputy leader Ziad Nakhleh—reported that rockets fired by Hamas at Israeli towns and cities “are of Iranian origin.”
Iran’s involvement in Gaza has generated growing tensions between Egypt, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
According to a report in Israel Hayom that cited Egyptian media reports, the mood between Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza is tense, with Hamas leaders blaming Jihad rocket fire on Israel as the cause of the death of Hamas terrorist chief Ahmed Jabari.
The reports also indicate that Hamas is “furious” with Islamic Jihad for not being flexible enough in negotiations for a ceasefire and that Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to bring the head of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Salah, onboard with a ceasefire.
Hamas, which had been long allied with Iran, had a falling out with the Islamic Republic after it abandoned its offices in Damascus amid the Syrian civil war. Since then, Hamas has gravitated towards Sunni Arab allies Egypt, Turkey and Qatar. Late last month, Qatari emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, became the first Arab head of state to visit Gaza under Hamas’s rule.