Khamenei: West Bank Should Hound Israel Like Gaza

Secretary-General of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, meets Iranian leader in Tehran.

Mark Langfan,

Khamenei in 2009
Khamenei in 2009
Reuters

Fars, the semi-official press agency of Iran, has reported that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told the visiting Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Movement, Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, in Tehran on Thursday, "The enemy [Israel] should feel the same worries in the West Bank as it does in Gaza."

The comments came at the same meeting in which Shalah praised Iran's own role in the conflict.

“The Islamic Republic and the Iranian people are proud of your [Islamic Jihad’s] ‘victory’ and resistance [in Gaza], and hope that the back-to-back ‘triumphs’ of resistance groups will continue until final victory,” Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Khamenei continued to characterize the 50-day war, in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad both took heavy military blows and came out with little political capital to show for their efforts, as the materialization of “divine promise,” and promised that “the outlook of the developments is bright and good."

From the safety of Tehran, the Supreme Leader also urged the Palestinians in “the West Bank” to intensify their fight against Israel, and declared that “fighting the Zionist regime is a war of destiny."

For Islamic Jihad, Shalah stated that “Definitely, the ‘victory’ was achieved with the ‘assistance’ of the Islamic Republic, and, without Iran’s strategic and efficient help, resistance and ‘victory’ in Gaza would have been impossible.”

On July 23, Khamenei said that Iran believes that “the West Bank should also be armed like Gaza and those who are interested in Palestine’s destiny should act in this regard.”

In early October, Hamas Political Bureau member Mahmoud Al-Zahar stated that if Hamas had a military foothold in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) as it does in the Gaza Strip it would be able to destroy Israel. He alluded to a possible future war of destruction against Israel by citing a Surah from the Quran about "the final promise":

Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch noted: "Al-Zahar said that if his movement [Hamas] were to 'transfer what it has or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise with a speed that no one can imagine.'"

Zahar's mention of "the final promise" is taken from Surah 17:7 of the Quran: "Then when the final promise came, [We sent your enemies]... to enter the temple in Jerusalem, as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction.'" Hamas using it in the context of Israel is promising a future war of destruction against Israel.




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