Iran commander’s chilling missile boast as he stokes tensions with Israel over Palestine

Israel Palestine: Expert says Iran ‘putting pressure on Israel’

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Hossein Salami, leader of the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards also crowed that Palestine was now a “missile-equipped nation” – strongly implying that the Islamic Republic has been providing financial assistance. Meanwhile a senior Iranian diplomat bragged that the Holy Land would be “liberated, from sea to the creek”.

Mr Salami was speaking on a day in which tensions moved up another notch after four rockets were fired towards Israel from Lebanon.

During a televised speech today, he said: “Tehran backs the Palestinians’ fight against the Zionist regime.

“The Palestinians have emerged as a missile-equipped nation.”

In a tweet today, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pakistan Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini claimed Israel was on the verge of “collapse and disintegration”.

He added: “The whole of the Holy Land of Palestine, from sea to the creek, will be liberated.”

Iran supports the Hamas militants who rule the Gaza Strip and have fired hundreds of rockets across the border at Israel.

Israeli and Palestinian sources say, the guerrillas use Iranian funding and instructions to produce rockets within Gaza that have ranges of 200 km (125 miles) or more, some with warheads carrying hundreds of kilograms of TNT and shrapnel.

Iran does not publicly disclose details of its support to Palestinian and Lebanese armed groups opposed to Israel.

However, in 2020 Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the power balance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been transformed with Iranian planning and “divine guidance and assistance” after Iran had taken note of Palestinian lack of access to weapons.

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Israel, which Iran does not recognise, said today it was not setting a timeframe for an end to hostilities with Gaza’s Islamist militias as it pounded the enclave with air strikes.

Israel has been heavily shelling densely populated Gaza, where officials say 219 Palestinians have been killed, many of them civilians. Israel says at least 160 guerrillas have been killed, among them rocket operators and manufacturers.

According to Israeli officials, a Gaza arsenal of around 29,000 rockets or mortars before the violence began has now been halved. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have not confirmed the claim.

The factions’ promotional videos have shown rockets being pre-loaded into small silos for remote-launches – a method aimed at keeping their operators protected from Israeli counter-strikes.

Counter-strikes may also be delayed or called off against manned crews operating within residential areas, Israel has said.

The firing of as many as 140 rockets within a few minutes at Tel Aviv and elsewhere has “challenged our exceptional systems,” Ofir Akunis, an Israeli cabinet minister and ex-spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Army Radio today.

He was referring to the Iron Dome rocket interceptor, which, according to Israeli figures corroborated by US military observers, has a 90 percent chance of shooting down rockets which radars show to be on trajectories threatening populated areas.

In quieter times, Iron Dome is programmed to fire two Tamir interceptor missiles at an incoming rocket, increasing the chance of interception to around 99 percent.

However, an Israeli air force general said the Iron Domes were now mostly being limited to one Tamir per interception, meaning as many as 10 percent of rockets may get through.

Citing the same tracking data it used for Iron Dome interceptions, the Israeli military has said between 20 percent and one-third of the Palestinians’ rockets have fallen short within Gaza in the latest fighting, causing at least 17 civilian fatalities.

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