M-302 rockets from Iran's weapons shipment to Gaza.
(photo credit: IDF)
Iran's defense minister on Saturday commended Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip for firing dozens of rockets into southern Israel last week, stating that "the operational power of the Resistance against the Zionist regime is a thousand times more than what it was before."
Iran's Fars News Agency quoted Iranian Defense Minister Brig.-Gen. Hossein Dehqan on Saturday as saying “the resistance forces have fired over 150 missiles against the occupied territories in the last 4 days, after the assassination of a number of resistance commanders by the Zionist regime in Gaza and the West Bank.” He claimed that the Gaza terror organizations had not yet displayed their actual missile capability.
Fars also quoted Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah as saying, "Our weapons of resistance…are not for rent. Our weapons are for the sake of Palestine and we shall not lay them down until we achieve the goal of liberating Palestine.”
Israeli communities near southern and northern Gaza came under heavy rocket attack in the last week, beginning on Wednesday. The IDF said at least 60 rockets had been fired in the largest attack since 2012's Operation Pillar of Defense.
In response The air force struck
29 targets across the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night, largely Islamic Jihad assets. Tanks also hit two terrorist targets inside Gaza.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said about the flair up of aggressions, “We will not allow Islamic Jihad or any other element in the Strip to disrupt life in the South,” he said. “It won’t be quiet in Gaza either, in a way that will cause Islamic Jihad terrorists to regret the attacks they carried out.
The rocket fire was condemned by both the United States and the UN, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for restraint on both sides.
The rocket barrage came after Israel unveiled the massive cache
of Iranian missiles and munitions which commandos confiscated from a ship, the Klos-C, and which intelligence has found was intended for Gaza.
According to Military Intelligence, Iran originally flew the rockets from Syria to an Iranian airfield a number of months ago, before trucking them to the Iranian port of Bander Abbas, where they were loaded onto the Klos C.