Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives were given military training in Iran, a captured commander in the terror group revealed in an interrogation, video excerpts of which were published by the Shin Bet security agency on Tuesday.

Basel Mahadi, an Islamic Jihad unit commander who was nabbed by troops in Gaza on December 20, detailed in the video how he left Gaza and was sent to Iran for military training. He was shown speaking in Arabic with an interrogator. The released video included an English translation of the conversation in subtitles.

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of being a key force behind the devastating Hamas-led attack on October 7, which killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Attackers succeeded in disabling the high-tech Gaza border fence, allowing some 3,000 terrorists to stream across the boundary from Gaza and carry out massacres in southern Israeli regions.

Mahadi said he joined the PIJ in around 2010 and was in charge of a unit that specialized in using mortars and rockets, engineering, sniper techniques and anti-tank missiles. The PIJ is a Gaza terror group aligned with Hamas.

“My commander called me and said that I should go to Iran for a sniper course, I will benefit from it and my salary will increase when I return,” Mahadi recalled, in the excerpts from the interrogation provided by the Shin Bet.

“I went from the Gaza Strip to Egypt where I stayed for about two weeks, from there I went to Syria for a few days and then to Lebanon. After two weeks, we went from Syria to Iran,” he said, noting he was given $1,000 dollars to cover expenses.

“In Iran, the course was 15 days. It had physical fitness training and shooting training on different types of weapons,” Mahadi added.

Mahadi said that they spent four days training on Kalashnikov rifles up to distances of 100 meters, another five days up to 150 meters, and then six days training on Dragunov sniper rifles up to distances of 300 meters.

The training was at an Iranian military base, he said though he did not recall the name or location. Instructors were “Iranian soldiers, they were wearing uniforms,” he added.

Mahadi said other Islamic Jihad operatives also underwent rocket training in Iran. He trained with 15-20 other PIJ operatives, from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. In the published video, Mahadi did not say when the training took place.

In late October, The Wall Street Journal reported that hundreds of Palestinian terrorists underwent military training in Iran in the weeks leading up to the October attack.

Source » timesofisrael