Iran's Revolutionary Guards say Palestinians 'not alone' in fight against Israel, as airstrikes continue

Iran's Revolutionary Guards say Palestinians 'not alone' in fight against Israel, as airstrikes continue
2 min read
The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps urged that they are with Palestinians 'until the end' during a meeting with Islamic Jihad's leader Ziad al-Nakhala. Iran is a major backer of the Palestinian militant group.
Israeli strikes in Gaza have killed at least a dozen people, including a five-year-old girl [Getty]

The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Saturday that the Palestinians are "not alone" in their fight against Israel as Gaza faced a second day of Israeli air strikes.

"Today, all the anti-Zionist jihadi capabilities are on the scene in a united formation working to liberate Jerusalem and uphold the rights of the Palestinian people," Major General Hossein Salami said in a statement on the Guards' Sepah News website.

"We are with you on this path until the end, and let Palestine and the Palestinians know that they are not alone," he told the visiting leader of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, Ziad al-Nakhala, during a meeting in Tehran.

The Gaza health ministry said a five-year-old girl was among 12 people killed by Israeli airstrikes, with more than 80 others have been wounded.

A senior commander of the group was killed in an air strike on Gaza City on Friday, one of many waves of strikes on the territory.

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Israel said it launched a "pre-emptive" operation against Islamic Jihad on Friday to avert an attack from the group following days of tensions along the Gaza border, after Tel Aviv arrested one of its leaders and killed a teenage member in a raid in the occupied West Bank on Monday.

Militants reportedly back with a barrage of rocket fire into Israel, in the territory's worst violence since an 11-day war last year that killed more than 250 Palestinians in the besieged strip and devasted most of its infrastructure.

Salami stressed that the Palestinian response showed "a new chapter" has begun and that Israel "will pay another heavy price for the recent crime".

"The Palestinian resistance is stronger today than in the past," he said, adding that the militant groups have found "the ability to manage major wars".

Iran's foreign ministry also condemned Israel's aggression on Gaza, calling it "brutal".

President Ebrahim Raisi said Israel has "once again showed its occupying and aggressive nature to the world," according to a statement from his office.

Iran is a major backer of Islamic Jihad and Nakhala has met Raisi and other officials during his visit.

Israel has accused Iran of smuggling weapons to Palestinian militant groups in Gaza. In March last year, it said it had intercepted two Iranian drones laden with weapons for Gaza.