(February 27, 2019 / MEMRI) On Feb. 24, Al-Alam TV (Iran) aired a report about the Al-Quds Brigades, which is one of the military wings of the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Abu Hamza, the Brigades’ spokesman, said that the Al-Quds Brigades are a comprehensive military system that has many offensive and defensive capabilities and that Iran has been supporting the Palestinian fighters since the its establishment.
The report showed fighters performing a drill that involved clearing rooms and the use mortars, RPGs, machine guns, .50-caliber sniper rifles and explosives. The report also showed a “workshop” in a tent containing what appeared to be 100 missiles.
Militants were shown constructing rockets, and Al-Alam TV got “exclusive” access to the Bader 1 rockets, which are also known as “Ashkelon’s Hell,” of which several dozen were visible. Abu Hamza said that Islamic Jihad’s missiles can reach Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and “even further.” In addition, the report showed several underground tunnels, which Abu Hamza explained were for the purpose of capturing Israeli soldiers in order to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners.
He said: “It is our natural right and our duty to capture Israeli soldiers.”
Following are excerpts:
Abu Hamza: Al-Quds Brigades is one of the armed factions of the Palestinian resistance. It has contributed its unique fingerprint to the armed military action in Palestine. Today, by the grace of Allah, it has become a comprehensive military system. It has many offensive and defensive capabilities, in order to fend off the enemy and thwart his plots.
The freemen of the world support us and we hope that all the countries—and [especially] the Arab and Islamic regimes—will stand by the Palestinian people and their rights. We believe that what was taken by force can be restored only by force.
Since the day of its establishment, the Islamic Republic [of Iran] has been supporting the Palestinian fighters financially, militarily … and in all aspects.
Reporter: We are about to watch a military exercise of the elite force of Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Abu Hamza: The Israeli enemy claims that during the wars it waged against Gaza, it destroyed the rocket capabilities of the Al-Quds Brigades. This claim was made in order to appease the Israeli public. The best response to this claim was the rockets that we [recently] launched on the occupied cities and towns [in Israel]. The last one was the rocket that we launched on the city of Ashkelon. Now, we will visit together [missile] workshop and a warehouse that belongs to Al-Quds Brigades, in order to see what have we been hiding during this preparation period.
When we started launching our rockets at the criminal Israeli enemy—back when this enemy was present on the land of the Gaza Strip—we used rockets the range of which did not exceed 10 kilometers. Today, by its engineers, its mujahideen and its extraordinary minds, the Al-Quds Brigades has managed to develop its rockets to reach Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and even further.
The enemy’s claim that it destroyed the tunnels of the Palestinian resistance and the tunnels of the Brigades is a false claim. In exchange for the tunnel destroyed by the occupation two years ago in which 11 fighters from the Brigades were martyred, there are dozens of new tunnels that were dug by the mujahideen.
One of the most important goals of these tunnels is to [help] capture Israeli soldiers in order to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. We believe that it is our natural right and our duty to capture Israeli soldiers.