The new leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force phoned Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s Ziad Nakhaleh to stress Iran’s support for opposition to the American “Deal of the Century” plan. The plan was announced on January 28 and Iran’s Quds Force commander Esmail Ghaani is now moving to bolster Palestinian resistance against it.
The report in Iran’s Tasnim and Mehr News media appears to be the first major act of Ghaani after he took over from Qasem Soleimani in early January. The US killed Soleimani in a January 3 airstrike in Iraq. Iran has appointed Mohammed Hejazi as Ghaani’s deputy. Hejazi is an expert on trafficking precision-guided munitions to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel has expressed concern about Hezbollah’s development of precision guidance.
Ghaani had separate calls with Islamic Jihad and Hamas. In November, Israel killed a leading Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza. Iran is a major supporter of PIJ; Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke to Nakhaleh twice after the November fighting. In the phone calls, Iran emphasized “firm support” for the Palestinians in their struggle against the Trump administration’s deal. It is “doomed to failure,” the IRGC says. The US views the IRGC as a terrorist group.
Ghaani stressed how Iran’s view of supporting Palestinians has not changed in the wake of Soleimani’s death. In fact, it may become stronger. “American statesmen are seeking to please Zionists,” the Iranians said. The Palestinian factions in turn said that they would not abandon their historic rights and that Trump’s deal will fail. Islamic Jihad said that the Palestinians had no choice but to confront the deal and he said Iran’s role is principled and part of the “path of resistance.” Tehran calls its allies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen part of the “arc of resistance” that Iran supports.
Hamas said that Iran’s support will strengthen its morale and resolve “to liberate Palestine.” Hamas also spoke to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday to coordinate opposition to Trump’s plan and Israel. Hamas also commemorated the legacy of Soleimani and wished Ghaani success in carrying out the mission of the Quds Force.
Islamic Jihad criticized the Palestinian Authority for continued security cooperation with Israel. Mohammed al-Hindi, one of the group’s leaders in Gaza, slammed PA President Mahmoud Abbas and claiming that he had held a secret meeting with the CIA in Ramallah. He based his comments on reports in Iranian media saying that the head of the CIA had visited Ramallah. Hindi said that if the PA did not immediately stop security coordination with “the occupiers,” it would lose credibility.
In recent days, Abbas has said that Palestinians should unite against the “Deal of the Century” and that he would cut ties with the US and Israel. Rocket and mortar fire have increased from Gaza in the last week.
Source » jpost