Iran-Backed Terrorists Release Video Claiming First Drone Strike On Israeli Forces
Video has been released by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, claiming to show improvised incendiary devices dropped from drones onto Israeli tanks on the Gaza border. The video was broadcast by Lebanon’s Hezbollah-affiliate Al Mayadeen. The Israeli military has reported repeated attempts by Palestinian groups in Gaza to launch attacks using drones, and the use of such technologies by the groups has been lauded by Iran.
The small devices do not inflict any damage on the heavily-armored tank, which makes the Arabic and Hebrew caption taunting that “your defenses are nothing to us” somewhat ironic. Israeli media has reported that drones have been among the military equipment that has been seized before it reached Gaza.
The terrorist threat from drones has become a broader theme recently, with the vulnerability of aircraft and crowded spaces to such devices highlighted as particular causes for concern. Security agencies will overlook the minor impact of the device depicted in the video, and will instead focus on the implied threat that a larger or more ominous payload would represent.
The video was released just ahead of International Quds Day, an Iranian-sponsored event that seeks to incite mass rallies in support of the Palestinians and to show opposition to Israel and Zionism.
Early in May, there was escalated tension between Israel and Gaza with Hamas and Islamic Jihad firing 690 rockets from Gaza into Israel, killing four people and injuring more than 200. The barrage exposed major weaknesses in Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, Only 240 of the rockets were intercepted. Israel carried out more than 300 airstrikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Palestinian territory, killing twenty-five Palestinians.
Ahead of Friday’s International Quds Day, the leader of Hamas, Yahya Sinwar, publicly thanked Iran for the rockets used to strike Israel as he warned of the consequences of any further offensive against Gaza. “Iran provided us with rockets,” he said, “and we surprised the world when our resistance targeted Beersheba.”
The same day, Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala threatened Israel that his organization could now fire up to 1,000 rockets a day at the county’s cities. He told another Hezbollah-affiliate, Al-Manar TV, that “we’re not far from a clear equation where if Israel bombs Gaza, we will bomb Tel Aviv.”
Iranian state media reported that the IRGC’s Head of Intelligence Hojjatoleslam Hossein Taeb told reporters at the International Quds Day rallies in Tehran that “the fall of the Israeli regime has already started within the borders of the occupied territories,” adding that “the vigorous turnout of the pro-freedom nations of the world in all Islamic countries and other countries can speed up the fall of the usurper regime of Israel.”
Iran has been rallying support against U.S. President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” for peace between Israel and Palestine. That deal looked on shaky ground in any case, given Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heading back to the polls and broad rejection or indifference across Arab states.
As well as rejecting the idea of talks with the U.S., Iran’s leader Ayatollah Khamenei said, “the [peace] plan is doomed to fail despite the plans made by the U.S. and its collaborators to pass it.”