IRAN yesterday upped the stakes in the Middle East crisis by pledging to speed up arming Palestinians to launch strikes on Israel.
Tehran said it would “accelerate” its support for Hamas with weapons and missile-building technology after Israel allegedly deployed a spy drone over Iran.
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said: “We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response.”
Iran has confirmed it supplied fighters from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad with the technology for the rockets being fired relentlessly into Israel from Gaza since July 8.
Hundreds of Israelis living in communities near the coastal strip fled their homes following a deadly mortar attack over the weekend. At least seven Palestinians were reported killed yesterday as the Israeli military launched 16 airstrikes. At least 60 rockets were fired from Gaza onto Israel.
While the Israeli public has widely supported Israel’s campaign to halt rocket attacks, the government has come under criticism for its inability to stop the fire.
Anger has risen following the death of four-year-old Daniel Tragerman who was killed on Friday when a Palestinian mortar landed in Nahal Oz, a kibbutz near the Gaza border.
Grief-stricken mother Gila Tragerman, speaking before his funeral on Sunday, said: “It looks like we will not return to Nahal Oz, no way.”