Saturday, Aug. 01
Latest News
  1. Iraqis protest over poor services, salty tap water
  2. Dozens dead as Syria army 'pushes back rebels near regime heartland'
  3. Yemen PM returns to Aden from Saudi exile
  4. Airport source: Yemen PM returns to Aden from Saudi exile
  5. New Taliban leader calls for unity in ranks in first audio message
  6. Iraqis vent rage at power shortages, 'corrupt' leaders
  7. Report: Some 260 PKK members killed in Turkey air strikes
  8. Iraqi Kurdistan urges Turkey to halt PKK bombardment
  9. Bin Laden relatives killed in UK plane crash
  10. Five Libyan troops killed, 18 missing after 'IS attack'
  11. 'Qaeda' suicide bombing kills 9 in Yemen
  12. Al-Qaeda in Syria attacks US-trained rebel base
  13. Kerry sets off on Mideast trip to Egypt, Doha
  14. 12 killed in Colombia military plane accident
  15. 'PKK attack' kills 2 police in tense Turkey
  16. Local official: 10 killed in Boko Haram attack in Nigeria village
  17. Tunisia extends state of emergency by 2 months
  18. Erdogan slams claims of Turkey IS cooperation as 'black propaganda'
  19. Trial results: Vaccine offers 100% Ebola protection
  20. Abbas wants ICC to probe arson that killed Palestinian toddler

Gazans say 'Thank you Iran' after Israel war

Nov. 27, 2012 7:45 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2012 9:36 P.M.)
By: Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- Gazans offered very public thanks to Iran on Tuesday for helping them in this month's fight against Israel, when Iranian-made missiles were fired out of the enclave towards Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

"Thank you Iran", said large billboards on three major road junctions in the Gaza Strip -- the first time there has been such public acknowledgement of Iran's role in the arming of militants in the tiny territory.

The message was written in Arabic, English, Hebrew and Farsi. The posters also depicted the Iranian Fajr 5 rockets that were used for the first time to target two large population centers. No one was injured in the attacks.

The billboards were not signed, but a senior official with Islamic Jihad, Khader Habib, said it was only natural to show gratitude for Iran's role in the conflict.

"Iranian rockets struck at Tel Aviv. They reached out to Jerusalem. Therefore it was our duty to thank those who helped our people," he told Reuters.

"We have distinctive, good relations with Iran and such a relationship will continue as long as Iran supports the Palestinian people and backs up the resistance," he added.

Israel launched an air offensive on Nov. 14 with the stated aim of stopping Gaza militants from firing rockets at its southern towns and cities.

Over 170 Palestinians, more than half of them civilians, died in the fighting that ended in a ceasefire last Wednesday. Six Israelis were also killed, four of them civilians.

Israel has always asserted that Tehran supplied Gaza with weapons, but until the latest conflict both Iran and Hamas had side-stepped the issue, acknowledging only financial backing and warm political ties.

During the eight-day war, the Iranian speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, said Iran was "honored" to have provided Gaza with military aid. Following the ceasefire, Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal thanked Iran for arms and funding.

The public statements appeared aimed at dispelling speculation that the mainly Sunni Muslim Gaza Strip was shutting the door on Shiite Iran and turning instead to neighboring Egypt for support and protection.

Israeli analyst Meir Javedanfar said he thought the Iranians would regret telling the world they supplied Hamas with arms.

"Now that such high-ranking officials openly admit to having supplied weapons to groups in Gaza, the job of isolating Iran will be even easier than before," said Javedanfar, an Iranian expert at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

Israel and many Western countries say Iran is developing nuclear weapons and have imposed increasingly stringent sanctions on the Islamic Republic to get it to halt its uranium enrichment drive. Tehran says its atomic program is peaceful.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015