Along with the blood, a lot of ink has been spilled over this week’s tragic events in Israel and Palestine. But one word has been missing from much of the analysis – Iran.
The thousands of missiles streaking out of Gaza and into Israeli cities were either made, or paid for, by Tehran. Iran hopes to break the recent détente between Israel and some Arab states via the outrage across the Muslim world at the loss of Palestinian lives. As the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) official Ramez al-Halabi said on Iraqi TV this week, “We buy our weapons with Iranian money. An important part of our activity is under the supervision of Iranian experts… I am proud to say that the rockets that are used to pound Tel Aviv have an Iranian signature on them.” Social media throughout the Arab world has seen a surge of praise for Iran this week as the only country prepared to stand up to the ‘Zionist entity’ although criticism from Arab governments has been relatively muted.