The Daily Beast reported yesterday that two weeks ago, when he pledged his support the Palestinians fighting Israel, Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Qods Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), singled out five groups for special mention: Hamas’ Qassam Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades, the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the al-Aqsa Martyrs and the Nasser Salahuddin Brigades.
The Qassam Brigades is the active terrorist branch of Hamas and “the largest and best-equipped group operating in Gaza today.” It is led by Mohammad Deif, who is sometimes referred to as the defense minister of Hamas. The Daily Beast notes that Deif reportedy lives in the Shuja’iya neighborhood which, the IDF noted, was the site of much of the terror infrastructure that was threatening Israel.
The Al-Quds Brigades, is part of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and has mostly been firing rockets and mortars into Israel. PIJ has maintained strong ties with Iran even when Hamas’ ties with the Islamic Republic were strained due to its support of the anti-government rebels in Syria.
Theasser Salahuddin Brigades is, according to its spokesman the third largest armed group in Gaza. The al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades is affiliated with Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades is a division of the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The Times of Israel reported yesterday that the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) ambassador to Iran, Salah al-Zawawi, said, “Israel’s annihilation has begun and the new generation in Iran will certainly witness our victory over Israel,” at a gathering in Tehran in support of Hamas ruled Gaza.
In the past few weeks other Iranian leaders vocally supported Palestinian terror and boasted of providing terrorists with military aid against Israel. Last month a United Nations report charged Iran with being behind Hamas’ arms buildup in the run up to Operation Protective Edge.
Suleimani coordinated Iran’s support of Syria in that country’s bloody civil war.
Terror organizations that failed to make Suleimani’s list have not yet issued public statements in response.