Ayatollah issues terrifying call to arms as Iran vows to land ‘deadly blows’ on Israel

Israel Palestine: Iron Dome intercepts rockets in Fox broadcast

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Meanwhile a statement issued by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard claimed “deadly blows” will soon rain down on Israel from Palestine – with the strong implication that Hamas and other insurgents have been armed by Tehran. Speaking just hours after the confirmation of a ceasefire brokered by Egypt brought an end to 11 days of violence, Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khamenei issued his call to arms in a statement carried by multiple Iranian media outlets.

Muslim states must sincerely support the Palestinian people, through military or financial support

Ayatollah Khamenei

He said: “Muslim states must sincerely support the Palestinian people, through military or financial support or in rebuilding Gaza’s infrastructure.”

Mr Khamenei urged Muslims to demand that their governments back the Palestinians.

Iran, which does not recognise Israel, supports and is widely understood to have armed the Islamist militants of Hamas, who rule the Gaza Strip, while President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority controls Palestinian-populated areas of the occupied West Bank.

Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group fired hundreds of rockets into Israel before Friday’s truce, killing a dozen civilians, although Israel said its “Iron Dome” defence system had shot the majority of them down.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tweeted: “Congratulations to our Palestinian sisters & brothers for the historic victory. Your resistance forced the aggressor to retreat.”

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) said in a statement: “The intifada has gone from using stones to powerful, precise missiles.

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“And in the future the Zionists can expect to endure deadly blows from within the occupied territories.”

A year ago, Mr Khamenei bragged that Tehran had transformed the military balance of power between Israel and the Palestinians.

Iran today displayed an Iranian-made combat drone which it said had a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), naming it “Gaza” in honour of the Palestinians’ struggle against Israel, state media reported.

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In a televised address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the raids on Gaza had damaged Hamas’s ability to launch missiles at Israel.

He claimed Israel had destroyed Hamas’s extensive tunnel network, its rocket factories, weapons laboratories and storage facilities, and killed more than 200 militants, including 25 senior figures.

He added: “Hamas can’t hide anymore. That’s a great achievement for Israel.

“We eliminated an important part of Hamas’s and Islamic Jihad’s command echelon.

“And whoever was not killed knows today that our long arm can reach him anywhere, above ground or underground.”

Israel said Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militant groups fired around 4,350 rockets from Gaza during the conflict, of which around 640 fell short into the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military said that 90 percent of those that crossed the border had been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system.

The truce appeared to be part of a two-stage deal, with Cairo sending security delegations to Tel Aviv and the Palestinian territories to agree on measures to maintain stability.

Egypt, arguably the leader of the Arab world, discussed measures to avoid a resumption of the rocket attacks from Gaza and Israeli strikes on the enclave.

A Western diplomat said Mr Biden, who on Thursday made his first call as president to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, appeared to have played a key role.

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