PNW - A few hours after the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza on May 21, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a "victory message" praising "the cooperation between the West Bank, Gaza, and Israeli Arabs for showing the path for the Palestinians in the future." Israel, he said, "will now be weaker in light of the rising power of the Palestinians and the jihad organizations."
The Iranian leader called for Israel to be indicted for its "shocking crimes," and said its actions had caused a "wave of hatred around the world" which had spilled over to its allies, in particular the United States. He also urged Muslims to pressure their governments to donate money to rebuild Gaza.
During the 11 days of fighting in May between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip, senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders maintained telephone contacts with Iran's top brass, including Khamenei and the heads of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and PIJ leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah spoke with Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the IRGC, who promised, on behalf of the Islamic Republic, that "Iran would not desert the Palestinians and will stand by their side and support them with all the means at its disposal, up until the final, impending destruction of the enemy [Israel]."
Both Nakhalah and Haniyeh traveled to Iran to attend the Jan. 7, 2020 funeral of IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Haniyeh delivered a eulogy, and he and Nakhalah were given places of honor right behind Khameini, President Hassan Rouhani, and president-elect Ebrahim Raisi.
Following the May conflict, Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, Soleimani's successor as commander of the Quds Force, sent letters to the "commanders of the Palestinian resistance," including Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif. In one letter to Deif, the "Living Martyr" [because of his many battle wounds], Ghaani praised the resistance organizations' deployment for the campaign and "preparing the tools necessary for the crushing victory," despite the harsh conditions.
Ghaani, in the spirit of the Supreme Leader's remarks, also....Read More
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