The Islamic Republic of Iran vowed on Monday to “accelerate” its rearming of Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria, one day after it claimed that it shot down an Israeli spy drone over its airspace.
“We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response,” said General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh in a statement on Sepah News, the official website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Hajizadeh, the elite unit’s commander of aerial forces, issued the statement in response to the alleged violation of Iranian airspace by the drone, which Iran claims it shot down near its Natanz nuclear site. Following the incident, the Guards said that the drone was an Israeli-made Hermes 450, a model whose flight range would have allowed it to reach the area.
Video of the wreckage was broadcast on Iranian television, and the Foreign Ministry condemned what it saw as a “flagrant violation” of its territorial integrity.
“The Armed Forces, including the IRGC and the Army, are fully prepared to trace and intercept [hostile flying objects] and if such moves are repeated, the aggressors will receive our crushing response,” warned Hajizadeh in Monday’s statement. “We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank, and we think we are entitled to give any response [to the recent aggression] which we deem appropriate,” he added.
Iran has long been seen as a major weapons supplier to Hamas. Numerous medium- and long-range rockets from Syria and Iran have found their way into Gaza, where the terror group has launched some them at Israeli civilians. These include Iranian-made Fajr rockets, as well as several dozen Syrian-produced M-302 rockets, based on Iranian technology, which have the range to strike deep inside Israel.
In July one such rocket flew over 100 kilometers to impact in Hadera, a town near the northern city of Haifa, during Hamas’s latest terror war against Israel.
Earlier this year Israeli forces intercepted the Klos C, a vessel from Iran carrying a shipment of 40 M-302 rockets, as well as 141 mortars and some 400,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition, that it believed was headed for Gaza.