After clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israelis at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount or Al-Aqsa Mosque, Iran accused Israel of engaging in “Zionist” aggression and doubled-down on their commitment to support Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel.
During the clashes, Palestinians chanted slogans and waved the Hamas flag against Israel in front of the Golden Dome of the Rock shrine at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s oldest city. The response from Iran to support Palestinians after clashing with Israelis further highlights the strong relationship between Tehran and the various Palestinian terrorist organizations.
The relationship between Palestinians and the Islamic Republic of Iran goes back to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. While in exile, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Yasser Arafat became mutual friends and supported each another’s causes, rooted in their shared hatred for Israel and its allies. After Khomeini returned from exile in February 1979 and got help overthrowing the Shah of Iran, Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) began to receive support from the newly created Islamic Republic of Iran. However, that support would run dry after the long and bloody1980 Iran-Iraq War, with Arafat and his organization supporting Khomeini’s biggest adversary, Saddam Hussein.
After the falling out between Khomeini and Arafat, the Islamic Republic began supporting more radical Islamic Palestinian groups like Hamas and then later Islamic Jihad in its quest to destroy the State of Israel. Over the last four decades, members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been trained, financed, and armed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in places like Tehran, southern Lebanon, and Syria. The IRGC has been responsible for supplying and training Hamas and Islamic Jihad in suicide bombings, rocket attacks, and violent uprisings against innocent Israeli citizens and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
Many experts and analysts point out that without Iran, Hamas and Islamic Jihad would not be able to function and collapse. With the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and the removal of economic sanctions, unfreezing Tehran’s overseas assets by the U.S. and its allies, Tehran will have new sources of revenue it can use to fund Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinians who want to destroy Israel.
According to reports, Iran provides Hamas with millions of dollars in terrorist equipment and training against Israel. Hoping that one day Jerusalem is “liberated” from what it calls “Zionist aggression.”
The Temple Mount was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day war but afterwards, conceded to the Qaqf under Jordanian custodianship, while it maintained Israeli security control. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has stated that entering the Temple Mount for Jews to pray is illegal, resulting in Israeli Security Forces arresting their own people who do so. Today, terrorist groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other radical Palestinian groups and individuals use the Temple Mount to hold violent protests using stones against Israeli Security Forces.
After Palestinians finish their prayers, they begin heading to the area near the mosque chanting slogans supporting Hamas and against Israel. The Israeli security forces responded to the violence and arrested hundreds of suspects while allowing the Temple Mount to be reopened for midday prayers with several thousand attending. The violent clashes by Hamas and its radical Islamic supporters are nothing new given that this tends to occur every Good Friday before Passover and Easter.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) described the clash as a discretion against the religious values of Muslims and blamed Israel’s security forces for attacks against Palestinian worshipers. Whenever attacks against Israel by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other radical Palestinian groups or individuals occur, Iran blames Israel for inciting the attacks and paints its proxies as innocent bystanders. During and after the clashes, the IRGC promised increased support for Palestinians violently clashing against Israeli security forces and accused the Israeli government of engaging in crimes and violent behavior.