The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On April 15, 2022, the third Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, riots and confrontations erupted on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem between dozens of young Palestinians and Israeli security forces, after several dozen Palestinians barricaded themselves in the compound. These confrontations were the continuation of a wave of terrorist attacks which began on March 22, 2022, when convicted Islamic State (ISIS) supporter Muhammad Abu Al-Qi'an perpetrated a car-ramming and stabbing attack against Israeli civilians in the city of Beersheba in southern Israel.
The Iran-backed Shi'ite militias in Iraq capitalized on the events at Al-Aqsa to harshly criticize the Arab regimes which maintain formal relations with Israel, as well as the Iraqi government which, they claim, has de facto normalized relations with Israel and supplies it with oil via Jordan.
These militias expressed their willingness to come to the aid of the Palestinians and to provide them "with everything that is necessary" until Israel is totally ousted from the region. A noteworthy declaration was made by a senior member of the Hizbullah Brigades who said that his organization, "embraces the families" of the Palestinians who carried out the attacks in Israel during the most recent wave of terrorism, without providing details as to what this "embrace" would comprise, and whether it also encompasses the families of the perpetrators of the attacks in Beersheba and Hadera who were supporters of ISIS, against whom these militias fight in Iraq and Syria. It is also interesting to note that several of the militias expressed support for the perpetrators of the attacks in Beersheba and Hadera even after they learned of their support for ISIS.
In this context it should be recalled that on May 25, 2021, several days after the conclusion of the last round of fighting between Hamas and Israel, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah called on the axis of resistance, headed by Iran, to create a new equation whereby any violation in Jerusalem would trigger a regional war. While a number of Iranian militias, among them Hizbullah Brigades and Al-Nujaba, responded to his call, the heads of those militias did not refer to it in their current statements.
The following is a review of the responses of several pro-Iranian militias in Iraq to the events which took place at Al-Aqsa on Friday, April 15:
Hizbullah Brigades: Positioned At Shouting Distance From Al-Aqsa
On the afternoon of Friday, April 15, Hizbullah Brigades issued a statement which reads: "The attack by the Zionist entity on Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday of the month of Ramadan, in light of the Arab and Islamic silence, reflects the involvement of the tool of normalization in these crimes which go so far as to silence the free voices which demand the liberation of Al-Quds and Palestine from the Zionists.
"The breaches of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the intimidation of the Muslims and the detention of the Muslims, not to mention the criminal raids characterized by suppression, extremism and intimidation, can only be stopped by the free Palestinians who have proved to the entire world their courage, their patience, and the supremacy of their religion against the criminal and oppressive entity."
Hizbullah Brigades protested what they describe as the fact that Arab governments, including "the transition government in our country," headed by Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, collaborate with "the Zionist entity," despite its crimes against the Palestinians. It claims that the government of Iraq "ignores the popular anger" and insists on laying the oil pipeline to Aqaba, Jordan, and from there to Israel, and they also ignore the Iraqi oil which flows from north Iraq (in the Kurdistan region) to the Zionist enemy, and in that way strengthens the Zionists and allows them to continue to kill the Palestinian people. In conclusion, Hizbullah Brigades asserts that it "views the two issues in an equal manner and positioning itself at shouting distance from Al-Aqsa so as to destroy the Zionists in Iraq and the region."
Hizbullah Brigades Spokesman: We Embrace The Families Of The Martyrs Who Perpetrated Operations Inside Palestine During The Current Wave Of Attacks
Several hours after Hizbullah Brigades issued its statement, Iraqi Hizbullah Brigades Spokesman Ja'far Al-Husseini tweeted, "We welcome the heroic jihadi actions against the Israeli occupation in the occupied territories and call for their continuation. We all trust and believe in the courage of our Palestinian people against the occupation."
According to Al-Husseini, "Hizbullah Brigades embraces the families of the martyrs who carried out the operations inside Palestine against the occupation forces from the start of the month of Shaban (which corresponds to March 2022) to this day."
Al-Nujaba Movement: All The Resistance Organizations Should Mobilize Their Resources And Experience To Aid The Palestinians
Al-Nujaba movement Deputy Secretary-General and spokesman Nasser Al-Shammari also condemned "the brutal conduct" of Israel in Jerusalem stating that it is, "A sign of the Zionists' helplessness against the vigilance of the Palestinian people," and that, "These actions send a message to the compromising Arabs that the normalization of relations has no justification and that they have no value for Tel Aviv and Washington."
He added that all the calls for a struggle against the Islamic resistance movements in the world are intended to protect Israel, and stressed that, "All the Islamic Resistance movements have a duty to mobilize all their financial resources, experience, weapons and support facilities to transfer the battle to the territory of occupied Palestine. Such a measure will save us from the numerous side conflicts that are raging in order to protect the Zionist regime."
'Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq: We Are Prepared To Provide Every Assistance For The Continuation Of The Palestinian Resistance
Qais Al-Khazali, Secretary-General of 'Asaib Ahl Al-Haq, also condemned the silence of the Arab governments which he contends encourages Israel to continue to harm the Palestinian people and Al-Aqsa and in a tweet called on, "All the free people in the Islamic world to take a stand against the Zionist crimes and to support and assist our jihad-waging Palestinian people and to defend the sanctity of our holy places in Al-Quds." He further declared his "full willingness to provide whatever is necessary for the continuation of the courageous Palestinian resistance until the total disappearance of the oppressive entity from our region."
 See MEMRI JTTM Reports: Iran-Backed Shi'ite Groups In Yemen And Iraq Praise Attack In Hadera, Israel, Ignore Fact That Perpetrators Were ISIS Supporters, March 29, 2022; and Iran-backed Militias Praise Terrorist Attack In Southern Israel By Convicted Islamic State (ISIS) Supporter, March 24, 2022.
 See MEMRI JTTM Reports: Hizbullah Brigades: Responding To Nasrallah's Call For A New Equation That A Threat To Jerusalem Equals Regional War, June 17, 2021; and Al-Nujaba Spokesman: Golan Liberation Brigade Is Ready For Action; Any Violation In Jerusalem Will Lead To Attacks On Israeli, U.S. Interests In Region, June 16, 2021.