by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 12 January 2022 | On January 3, 2020, a US drone assassinated Gen. Qassam Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, in Baghdad.
Amid the anniversary of his death, Iran and its proxies—particularly terrorist groups in and around Israel—continue to mourn and lament the loss of Soleimani, a champion of the Palestinian cause.
Among the many news stories and tributes to Soleimani, one such report from the Tasnim news agency in Damascus divulges Iran’s “untold” worst-kept secret: its role in backing Palestinian terrorist groups.
Soleimani, who in Iran was second in power only to Supreme Leader Khameini, spent the last 20 plus years of his life to establish Iran as the “most relevant to different groups in Palestine” that popped up during his time in power.
The Islamist regime in Iran is Shiite, while Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the two terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, are Sunni. Normally, this would put them at odds. But uniting against their common enemy of Israel, Soleimani was willing to put that aside and join hands against the Jewish state.
In fact, Soleimani worked “closely with all these groups, regardless of their religious or political tastes, and this strategy was able to multiply the power of the resistance against the Zionist regime in Palestine,” the report said, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post.
The Tasnim report cites Khalid Jabril, the deputy secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC), who boasted of meeting Soleimani throughout the years and hearing about the late general’s plans to rid Syria and Iraq of terrorists—mainly ISIS.
To achieve that goal, Soleimani met with Palestinian groups in the region and stirred them for the cause in speaking of his passion for Palestine and liberating Jerusalem from Israel.
Jabril mentioned Operation Guardian of the Walls (known as the “Sword of Quds (Jerusalem)” in Arabic), the 11-day war in May 2021 in which terrorists in Gaza fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel, drawing retaliatory Israeli fire on the Strip.
“We all know that the martyr Qassam Soleimani played a pivotal role in bringing the Palestinian resistance to a state of self-sufficiency at this level of missile arsenal,” Jabril told Tasnim, giving Soleimani and Iran the credit for Gaza’s rocket stash.
In fact, it was Soleimani’s idea to build and utilize rockets in the Palestinian war against Israel, according to Jabril. “We coordinated with the Hamas movement on the issue of missiles and how to build missile propulsion and warheads and guided systems,” Jabril said. “All this was done with the knowledge and supervision of Soleimani, and this was a very important strategic issue for him.” In the 1990s the Palestinian rockets could only travel 2 kilometers (1.2 mi.), but now they have a range of 250 kilometers (155 mi.), for which Jabril again credited Soleimani.
Most of the violent anti-Israel action in and around the Jewish state—terror attacks, rockets, missiles, kidnappings and killings—trace back to Iran, and ultimately to Soleimani, during his lifetime. His Quds force created an entire unit within Hezbollah, for example, dedicated to orchestrating terror attacks on Israel.
Soleimani is also credited with stirring Iranian support of the Palestinians against Israel. Though the new regime gave the Palestinians lip service after taking over in 1979, it wasn’t until the 1990s that Iran truly put its money, weapons and resources where its mouth was. It was thanks to Soleimani, who “opened his heart and the heart of the Islamic Republic of Iran to all those who want to fight the Zionist enemy,” the Tasnim report said.
Jabril credited the late terrorist-general with the Second Intifada, “defeating” Israel in the Second Lebanon War—even defeating ISIS and “the prevention of the disintegration of Syria.”
“What Martyr Qassam Soleimani did is over, and we are now in another generation that we must continue his path,” Jabril said.
Soleimani didn’t just make orders from behind a desk; he went into the battlefields and rallied the troops, winning the hearts of his followers.
As his compatriots mourn Soleimani on the anniversary of his death, renewed vows of revenge and action against the Jewish state are sounding off around the Middle East.
Posted on January 12, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 12, 2022)
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