Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday called on Muslim states to support Palestinians militarily and financially and help rebuild victorious Gaza after an 11-day war with Israel, Iranian media reported.
Iran supports the Islamist Resistance Movement of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group fired hundreds of rockets into Israel before Friday’s truce, as part of their answer to Israel’s aggression against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and in particular against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
“Muslim states must sincerely support the Palestinian people, through military…or financial support …or in rebuilding Gaza’s infrastructure,” Khamenei said in a statement quoted by Reuters.
He urged Muslims to demand that their governments back Palestinians.
Iran on Friday displayed an Iranian-made combat drone that it said had a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), naming it “Gaza” in honour of the Palestinians’ struggle against Israel, state media reported.
Khamenei said that Israel was “forced to accept defeat” by Palestinian armed groups, after a ceasefire between the Zionist state and the resisitance groups in Gaza.
“I thank dear and almighty God for the victory and honor bestowed upon Palestinian fighters,” he said in a statement on his official website.
“The continuation of crimes and the ceasefire were both (part of Israel’s) defeat. They were forced to accept defeat,” he added, saying that Israel was “powerless against the unified rise of Palestine.”
“The readiness of the Palestinian youth and the show of power” by the resistance in Gaza “will make Palestine more powerful by the day and the usurping enemy weaker and more despicable,” he added.
“All influential elements of (Israel’s) regime and the criminal (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu must be prosecuted by international and independent courts,” Khamenei said.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry earlier said Palestinians had won a “historic victory” over Israel.
“Congratulations to our Palestinian sisters & brothers for the historic victory. Your resistance forced the aggressor to retreat,” ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tweeted.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said in a statement: “The intifada (Palestinian uprising) has gone from using stones to powerful, precise missiles … and in the future the Zionists (Israel) can expect to endure deadly blows from within the occupied territories.”
Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have praised Iran’s financial and military support, but Tehran has rarely confirmed its weapons supply. But Khamenei last year hailed Tehran’s supply of arms, saying Iran had transformed the military balance of power between Israel and the Palestinians.(agencies)