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January 3, 2019 6:13 am

Islamic Jihad Leader in Tehran: ‘We Will Attack Israel from the North and South’

avatar by Yoni Ben Menachem / JNS.org

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Islamic Jihad militants guard outside the funeral of Islamic Jihad militant Hussein al-Amour, who was killed during an Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza on May 27, 2018. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

JNS.org – During a visit to Tehran on December 29, Ziyad Nakhalah, leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), met with the top echelons of Iran’s leadership, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran’s head of the Supreme Security Council, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, told Nakhalah that “Iran has always been supportive to the resistant and oppressed Palestinian people since the very start of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s establishment, which was inspired by our religious and humane beliefs, and will continue until the complete victory of the resistance process.”

Nakhalah gave an interview to the Iranian TV channel Al-Alam in which he revealed the “Axis of Resistance” plan, led by Iran, to attack Israel from the north and the south. PIJ serves as Iran’s proxy in Gaza. Nakhalah’s statements were issued several days after his public meeting in Beirut with the leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

“In the next confrontation with the occupation,” declared Nakhalah, “the axis of resistance will operate from the north [Lebanon] to the south [Gaza]. There will be open channels of collaboration, without any limitation or red lines. Each Israeli attack will be answered with a reaction from the entire axis of resistance. All forces will participate in it, as they will form a single axis. Iran supports the Palestinian resistance and the Hezbollah organization. The resistance is in its best situation. There have been qualitative developments in the capabilities of the Palestinian resistance. Next year, we will see big changes in favor of the resistance.”

“The entire ‘axis of resistance’ will work together in every confrontation that will arise. The resistance forces and their axis have a plan to struggle against the occupation. There is strategic coordination between the factions of the resistance in the Gaza Strip [Hamas and Islamic Jihad], and we will strengthen the joint operations room of the resistance factions,” Nakhalah told audiences.

He then added: “We will emerge from beneath the ground and from above the ground. The occupation needs to expect us everywhere. I’m sure we will defeat the Zionist project, and this entity will disappear. We will continue with the resistance, and we will not withdraw from it. There will be victims, come what may.”

Thus, the Iranian threat to Israel is not limited to nuclear weapons or conventional attacks from Syria.

Yoni Ben Menachem, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israeli radio and television, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center. He served as director general and chief editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority. You can read a full report on this topic at JCPA.

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