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Palestinian Militant Leader Says Soleimani Sent Weapons To Gaza

Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad with Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. FILE PHOTO

The Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement Ziyad al-Nakhalah says Qassem Soleimani "personally" managed a complex operation to send weapons to Gaza.

In a video posted on Qassem Soleimani's Twitter account on Thursday evening, May 21, al-Nakhalah disclosed that Soleimani traveled to several countries to supply weapons for the Palestinians in Gaza.

He did not say what countries or the exact timing of the weapons deployment, but based on other parts of the video footage, it appears that Soleimani's covert operation took place sometime before the military conflicts in November 2018 between Israel and Palestinins.

In recent years, there have been general references to Soleimani's activities in support of Palestinian groups, but this is the first time a video has been released with some details about Palestine-related activities of the former Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) Qods Force.

"Arming Palestine" is a policy announced by the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in August 2014.

The Shi'ite clergy-dominated Iran supports the activities of the Sunni Palestinian groups in Gaza, mainly the Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

In the video released yesterday, are excerpts from a speech by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic on January 8, 2020, he says that Qassem Soleimani enabled the Palestinians to confront Israel and that he was aware of the fallen commander's activities.

Soleimani was killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike on 3 January, 2020 outside Baghdad international airport, which was approved by President Donald Trump.