While the world’s eyes are on the continuing armed conflict between Israel and Islamist groups in Gaza, on Monday a top Iranian commander of their so-called elite Islamic Revolution Guards Corps told the nation that they are committed to arming “Palestinian resistance groups” in the West Bank in retaliation for the alleged Israeli penetration into Iran’s airspace.
The IRGC had claimed Monday morning that it’s surface-to-air missile shot down an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly called a drone. Iran alleges that the UAV was a state-of-the-art, stealth drone which attempted to enter Iranian airspace over its Natanz nuclear zone. The intruding drone was intercepted and brought down by a missile, the Iranian claimed.
“We will speed up arming the West Bank and retain the right for any response,” Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iranian news outlets in Tehran in reaction questions about the Israeli aircraft.
The issue of arming the Palestinians with more deadly and destructive weapons gained momentum after Iran’s Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said that the Muslims living in the West Bank must be in a position to repel the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) especially since the Israelis launched an offensive against Palestinians living on the Gaza Strip on July 8.
On July 29, in a sermon on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr — the last day of Ramadan when Muslims break their fasts — Imam Khamenei noted Iran’s support for the “Palestinian resistance groups in their fight with the Israeli regime.” He also accused the United States of seeking to disarm Palestinian fighters in order to assist the Israeli’s in suppressing Hamas and other organizations such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“Unlike the view and effort of supporters of ‘the child-murderer Zionist regime’, the whole world and the Islamic world in particular, have an obligation to arm the Palestinian nation as much as possible,” the nation’s spiritual leader said, according to Iran’s state-run news media.
Meanwhile on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, “Iran will sue Israel legally over its alleged violation of Iran’s air space here on Monday following reports that Iran had downed an Israeli stealth drone in its airspace.”
“We will take a proper defensive measure over the clear violation of our country’s integrity, and we preserve the right to follow up the issue in the legal and international bodies,” Afkham was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.