|Khamanei the supreme|
The next step, a solely-Iranian one that does not depend on the goodwill of the Islamic world, came quickly but has been reported nowhere outside Israel as far as Google knows:
A former adviser to Iran’s defense minister said that Tehran would seek to arm Palestinians in the West Bank with “strategic weapons” including missiles to target Tel Aviv and Haifa. Iranian researcher Amir Mousavi told Lebanon’s Mayadeen TV channel this week that “a major reshuffle awaits the region” as “new and significant fronts will be opened all of a sudden, to support the Palestinian cause in the West Bank and Gaza.”
“A new front must be opened from the West Bank, after it has been armed, especially with missiles,” Mousavi said in comments relayed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), “because we know very well that the distance between the West Bank and Tel Aviv, Haifa, and other areas is much shorter than the distance from Gaza. Therefore, simple means are required. There is no need for long-range missiles. Short-range missiles can change the entire picture in the occupied lands.”
Mousavi added that Gaza would also receive increased military support from Iran. As for the Palestinian Authority which controls the West Bank and has in recent years cooperated closely with Israel on security issues, Mousavi remarked: “We hope that the brothers in the Palestinian Authority will help rather than impede this.” [Times of Israel, July 30, 2014]
|Mousavi [Composite of|
images from MEMRI]
As for how to get those "strategic weapons" into place, Mousavi is not bashful. The “resistance camp” - his euphemism for Iran's clients in our area: Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraq, Syria - have “established very important channels via Jordan, the Golan Heights, and other areas.”
Israel has gotten to see some of the "important channels" - those running underground from the Gaza Strip into the earth directly underneath Israeli civilian settlements - from up close and from inside (like these) in the past three weeks. It's been an explosive experience.
Iran's wholehearted and whole-pocketed backing (other than during a brief spat in 2013) for the terror practiced by Hamas, PIJ and Fatah is an open secret. In "Iran’s fingerprints all over Hamas-Israel conflict", lawyer and former-Iranian Sayeh Hassan (Toronto Star, July 19, 2014) writes that while
few have picked up on the significant Iranian connection to the conflict... one cannot comprehend the events of recent weeks without an adequate understanding of Iran’s role in Gaza... Many of the more than 1,000 missiles fired at Israelis in the past month were manufactured in Iran, transferred by Iran or built in Gaza with Iranian technology. This includes, for example, the Iranian-built Fajr 5 and the made-in-Gaza M-75, both of which have a range of 75 kilometres. In 2012, Iran openly admitted to having given Hamas the technology to manufacture the M-75. These weapons have been a strategic game-changer for Hamas, allowing it to extend its range of attack to Israel’s two largest cities: Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The longer-range M-302, which enabled Hamas to hit cities in northern Israel, was reportedly imported from Syria via Iran... None of this would be possible without extensive funding from Iran. At one point, the government of Egypt revealed that Iran was funnelling upwards of $300 million annually to Hamas. Additional numbers are equally staggering. Prior to Israel’s current operation, terror groups in Gaza possessed an estimated 10,000 missiles. Hamas operatives, many of whom were trained in Iran, now also number at least 10,000. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is even closer to Iran than is Hamas, boasts several thousand fighters in Gaza. Analysts have noted that the two factions have been competing to see which one can fire missiles deeper into Israel. Despite a falling-out between Hamas and the Iranian-Syrian axis when the group moved its headquarters out of Damascus in the wake of the Syrian civil war, co-operation in fighting the common enemy, Israel, has resumed... Iran’s mentorship of Hamas in Gaza is modelled on its development of Hezbollah in Lebanon. In both cases, Iran seeks to advance the Islamic Revolution throughout the Middle East and support local groups willing to wage a proxy war with Israel. Unfortunately, those who pay the price for Iran’s destructive ventures are Israelis and innocent Palestinians alike... Tehran’s fingerprints are all over the current round of violence.Final note: as critically important as Iran's support is for the terrorist forces of Gaza, its role is augmented by both North Korea and Qatar. They may be relative minnows in a sea of sharks but each brings to the Gaza war a passionate dedication to the harm that terrorism inflicts on ordinary people, making what they have to offer (advanced weapons in one case, cash in the other) indispensable to the dreams of the Hamas fat-cats.