TEL AVIV – Of the more than 70 mortars and rockets fired into Israel by Gaza-based terror groups on Tuesday, several were made in Iran and smuggled into the coastal enclave, the army said.
“Among the munitions fired at Israel were also rockets manufactured in Iran,” the IDF said in a statement.
Tuesday’s barrage by the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad was, according to a statement by the terror group, “a blessed response of the resistance.”
Last week, Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar bragged on TV about the heavy funding and training the terror group has received from Iran and said that the group is in touch with Iranian proxy Hezbollah “on an almost daily basis.”
According to a translation posted by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Sinwar told Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah al-Mayadeen TV channel on Monday that Iran was helping Hamas prepare for a battle for “the liberation of Palestine.”
“Our resistance in the Gaza strip has greatly developed its capabilities,” Sinwar said, adding that Iran had provided Hamas with “a lot of money, equipment and expertise.”
Sinwar described Hamas‘ relations with Iran as “excellent.” He also specified the Gaza-ruling terror group’s “very strong, powerful and warm” relationship with elite Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and “the other brothers in the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] leadership.”
Hamas Leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar: We Are Coordinating with Hizbullah, Iran on an Almost Daily Basis pic.twitter.com/9lqKbkQ9xO
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 22, 2018
Soleimani is said to have orchestrated the 32 rockets fired on Israeli military targets from Syria earlier this month.
“Every day we build missiles and continue military training,” Sinwar said, adding that thousands of fighters were working “day and night” to prepare for the next conflict.
In October, a senior Hamas official vowed to keep close ties with Iran. At a high-level meeting between senior Iranian officials and Hamas in Tehran, the terror group was lauded for its relentless efforts toward the destruction of Israel.
During that meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his government was “ready to put aside all disagreements [with Hamas] for the sake of supporting Palestine and the Palestinian people as well as the unity of the Muslim world.”
Israel responded to Tuesday’s mortar fire by striking more than 35 terror targets around the Gaza Strip, including weapons caches, naval targets, terror headquarters and a training facility.
On Wednesday, a senior defense official said Israel would refrain from further attacks on Gaza if the terror groups in the coastal enclave did the same.