TEHRAN – Iran will accelerate arming Palestinians in retaliation for Israel deploying a spy drone over the Islamic Republic, which was shot down, a military commander said on Monday.
Iran, which does not recognise the existence of Israel, has confirmed it supplied Palestinian fighters from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad with the technology for the rockets being fired relentlessly into Israel from Gaza since July 8.
“We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response,” said General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of aerial forces of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, in a statement on their official website. Last month, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the Islamic world to arm Palestinians to allow them to counter Israel's genocide in Gaza.
He also said that Israel was acting like a rabid dog and a wild wolf, causing a human catastrophe that must be resisted. The death toll from seven weeks of violence in Gaza rose to 2,124 on the Palestinian side on Monday. Iran's warning on Monday came a day after the Guards said they had downed an Israeli Hermes stealth drone above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in the centre of the country.
Natanz is Iran's main uranium enrichment site, housing more than 16,000 centrifuges. Around 3,000 more are at the Fordo plant, buried inside a mountain and hard to destroy. Israel has often threatened to attack Iranian nuclear installations. An Israeli spokesman told AFP in Jerusalem after the report that the drone had been shot down that the military does not address foreign media reports.