Hossein Salami
Hossein SalamiReuters

Major General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, on Wednesday hailed the terrorists from Gaza who have peppered Israel with rocket fire in recent days.

"Today we are witnessing the birth of a new Palestine... fighting with missiles," Salami said at a pro-Palestinian rally in central Tehran's Imam Hossein Square, according to AFP.

"A new Israel has also emerged, one that is broken, frustrated, downcast, that has lost confidence in itself," he claimed.

The general, who heads the ideological arm of Iran's military, said the suspension last week of international flights to Israel's Tel Aviv airport because of rocket fire was "a first".

"The battle for Palestine is not only one of the Palestinians against the Israelis," he claimed, but one that "symbolizes the battle of Muslims against world arrogance", the Islamic republic's term for the West.

General Salami, like other Iranian leaders, regularly threatens both the US and Israel. Last year, he said Iran is ready to strike both countries if they give it any reason to do so.

Previously, he warned in a TV interview that Iran will "raze Tel Aviv to the ground" if it is attacked by the US.

He has also threatened that Iran will destroy US warships if its security is threatened in the Persian Gulf.

Hamas and Iran have restored ties that had been strained in recent years, as evident in the summer of 2017 when Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanked Iran for its "unlimited" support for the Al-Qassam Brigades and its contribution to the development of Hamas' military capabilities.

Hamas deputy leader Salah Al-Aruri has made several visits to Iran in recent months in which he met with senior officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, another indication that the rift is over.