Iran’s attack on Israel stirs admiration among Gaza Palestinians

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Iran’s attack on Israel stirs admiration among Gaza Palestinians

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Smoke rises behind destroyed buildings. — Reuters pic/UN News

CAIRO, April 15 — Iran’s attack on Israel drew applause from many Palestinians in Gaza yesterday as rare payback for the Israeli offensive on their enclave, although some said they suspected Tehran had staged the assault more for show than to inflict real damage.

“For the first time, we saw some rockets that didn’t land in our areas. These rockets were going into the occupied Palestine,” said Abu Abdallah, referring to land that became Israel in 1948 rather the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

“We are hopeful that if Iran or any other country enters the war a solution for Gaza might be nearer than ever. The Americans may have to resolve Gaza to end the roots of the problem,” said Abu Abdallah, 32, using a nickname rather than his full name.

Many in Gaza have felt abandoned by Middle East neighbours since Israel began an offensive that has killed more than 33,000 people in response to attacks on Israeli soil by Hamas, who killed 1,200 people and took 253 hostage on October 7.

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However support has come from Iran and its regional proxies, who are allies of Gaza’s Hamas Islamist rulers. Syria and Yemen’s Houthi group called the Iranian strike legitimate. Iran’s ally Hezbollah in Lebanon praised the attack as “brave”.

Footage circulated from the enclave showed many residents, including inside displacement tents, whistling and others chanting Allah Akbar (God is the Greatest) in joy as the skies were lit up by Iranian rockets and Israeli interceptions.

“Whoever decides to attack Israel, dares to attack Israel at a time when the whole world acts in its service, is a hero in the eyes of Palestinians regardless of whether we share their (Iran’s) ideology or not,” said Majed Abu Hamza, 52, a father of seven, from Gaza City.

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“We have been slaughtered for over six months and no one dared to do anything. Now Iran, after its consulate was hit, is hitting back at Israel and this brings joy into our hearts,” Abu Hamza added.

Iran launched the attack over a suspected Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria on April 1 that killed top Revolutionary Guards commanders and followed months of clashes between Israel and Iran’s regional allies, triggered by the war in Gaza.

Natural right

Hamas, which has been locked in a war with Israel in Gaza since October 7, defended Iran’s attack, saying in a statement the assault was “a natural right and a deserved response” to the strike on the Iranian embassy compound.

The Palestinian Popular Resistance Committee (PRC), an armed group that fights Israel alongside Hamas in Gaza, said the Iranian engagement could boost the Palestinian cause, saying that for Israel it was “the final nail in its coffin.”

Islamic Jihad, which like Hamas receives financial and military support from Iran, defended the Iranian attack and condemned countries whom it said acted as a “protective shield” for Israel.

Palestinian children play amid the rubble at a park destroyed by Israel’s strike. — Reuters pic

Palestinian children play amid the rubble at a park destroyed by Israel’s strike. — Reuters pic

Not everyone was supportive. Some Palestinians saw the attack as an attempt by Iran merely to preserve its dignity.

“Curtains down on the face-saving piece of theatre ... The Palestinian people are the only ones who pay the price with their flesh and blood,” Munir al-Gaghoub, a resident of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, wrote on his page.

Some others on social media said they believed the assault was agreed with the US in order to cause no harm, pointing to the hours it took for Iranian drones to get close to Israel, and saying this gave Israel plenty of time to shoot them down.

Meanwhile, Israel kept up its military strikes across the Gaza Strip, killing 43 Palestinians and wounding 62 others in the past 24 hours, according to the territory’s health ministry.

In the latest incident, a Palestinian woman was killed and 23 others were wounded when Israeli forces opened fire on dozens of people who tried to cross back into northern Gaza areas from the south, medics and residents said. There was no immediate comment from Israel on the woman’s death. — Reuters

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