May 2, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10588

Iranian IRGC Commander Hossein Salami: 'Invisible Hands Armed The West Bank – And You [Now] See Modern Automatic Rifles And Automatic Weapons In The Hands Of The Palestinians'

May 2, 2023
Iran, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10588

In an April 18, 2023 speech for Iran's Military Day, Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said that "invisible hands" – hinting at the Iranian regime – are arming Palestinian organizations with automatic weapons against Israel.

Salami's statements came several days after rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza and Israeli civilians were killed in shooting attacks during the Passover holiday. The rocket fire was apparently directed by Iran in connection with Israel's killing of two IRGC members in Syria.

It should be noted that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has been issuing instructions to arm the West Bank since July 2014 (see Appendix).

The following are excerpts from Salami's statements:

"Today, for the first time, 100,000 [Israelis] protested against the Zionist regime inside the occupied territories.[1] Israel is today being attacked by missiles from Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip, and the flames of wrath are spreading from the West Bank. The Zionist regime has surrounded itself with walls of several hundred meters, and uses the most powerful sensors to create [its own] security, so that not even an animal can cross its borders. But invisible hands have armed the West Bank, and you [now] see modern automatic rifles and automatic weapons in the hands of the Palestinians.

"Over the past week, the Palestinians carried out 165 [terrorist] operations, half of which were shooting [attacks]. The Zionists killed two [members] of our forces [in Syria], but seven of their own have been killed by the invisible hands [in shooting attacks]; these equations have become unequal...

"We are moving towards solving problems and conquering the greatest peaks, and the enemy knows it cannot [best us], and we know that we can [best it]."[2]

IRGC Commander Hossein Salami delivering his speech, ISNA (Iran), April 18, 2023.

Appendix: MEMRI Reports On Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's Instructions To Arm The West Bank

MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1107, Qods Day In Iran: Tehran Calls For Annihilation Of Israel And For Arming The West Bank, July 25, 2014.

MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1108, Iran's New Strategy Of Diversion: Persuading The Sunni Camp To Fight Israel, Not Iran, July 31, 2014.

MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 5906, Iranian Regime Escalates Threats To Annihilate Israel, December 17, 2014.

MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1588, Destruction Of Israel By The Sword Or By Referendum – Part II: Senior Iranian Regime Officials Link Iran To The May 2021 Gaza Conflict, Urge Hamas And Palestinian Islamic Jihad To Continue Their Fight Against Israel, July 22, 2021.


[1] Salami is referring to the current protests against the judicial reform in the country.

[2] ISNA (Iran), April 18, 2023.


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