Gantz Accuses Iran of Bankrolling Islamic Jihad

By Hamodia Staff

Minister of Defense Benny Gantz (right) meets with Cypriot Minister of Defense Charalambos Petrides, in Yerushalayim on Thursday. Ariel Hermoni (Ministry of Defense)

YERUSHALAYIM — Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday accused Iran of bankrolling the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group that fired over a thousand rockets at Israel from Gaza in last week’s fighting.

Gantz said that in recent years the Palestinian Islamic Jihad received “tens of millions of dollars” from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, while speaking at a joint press conference with Cypriot Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides, who is visiting Israel.

“Iran, via the IRGC, transfers know-how and attempts to smuggle materials to Gaza, which are then used to build weapons aimed at civilians,” he said.

PIJ launched 1,175 rockets and mortars at Israel between Friday and Sunday. According to the Israel Defense Forces, some 200 of the rockets fell short inside the Gaza Strip. In several cases, failed rocket launches killed Palestinian civilians.

“While the world watched ‘another escalation between Israel and Gaza,’ I stopped to emphasize: The Iranian ayatollahs are involved on this front. Islamic Jihad in Gaza is a violent Iranian proxy,” Gantz said, as he hosted his Cypriot counterpart at the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“Their leadership visits Iran and meets Iranian leaders frequently. Islamic Jihad has an open tab in Iran,” he said.

Leaders of the terror group were reportedly in Tehran during the fighting.

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