Re: the news today that Israel intercepted a ship with weapons headed to Gaza -
Question 1 – Was it for Hamas or Islamic Jihad?
Something which I find interesting about today’s news is that the Israeli army did not say who it believed the arms were for. All we know is that according to the IDF, the weapons were destined for “terrorist organizations” in Gaza.
This is an important question to ask. Iran and Islamic Jihad relations have almost always been good.
But relations between Iran and Hamas have been worsening since the start of the Syrian civil war. Hamas turned against Assad and this greatly upset the Iranian regime. So much so that calls were made for the entire Hamas leadership to be changed. If the weapons were destined for Hamas, it would show that military relations between the two sides are improving.
Question 2 – Is Israel’s deterrence in Syria working?
According to the Israeli army, the weapons were flown from Syria to Iran, and were then shipped from there to port Sudan. From there the weapons were to be taken to Gaza.
This is very interesting. The weapons originated from Syria. Iran could have shipped the weapons straight from Iran itself. Why take weapons from Syria ?
This brings me to my second question:
Have the reported attacks by the Israeli air force against weapons shipments from Syria to Hezbollah finally convinced Assad and Iran to divert some of them to other destinations (Gaza) via other routes (Sudan)?
And one observation:
There is nothing new about the Iranian regime supplying weapons to militants in Gaza. This has been happening for many years. Iran also funded many of the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians in the 1990s.
But the Iranian government is not in charge of the Palestine policy. Its the regime which consists of un-elected officials such as the supreme leader and the Revolutionary Guards. The regime was supporting Hamas even during the time of the reformist Khatami government.
So lets be accurate: the Iranian regime does support terrorism in Syria and Gaza, yet at the same time, this is not a policy which the president be it Khatami, Ahmadinejad or Rouhani have a say over. This would most probably have been a Khamenei and Revolutionary Guards project, not a Rouhani one.