Iran's attack on Israel drew admiration from Gaza's Palestinians

Gaza / Photo EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED SABER

The Iranian attack on Israel was applauded by many Palestinians in Gaza as a rare reprisal for an Israeli offensive on their enclave, although some said they suspected Tehran staged the attack more for show than to do real damage. Reuters.

"For the first time, we saw some rockets that did not land in our areas. These rockets were going into occupied Palestine," says Abu Abdallah, referring to the land that became Israel in 1948, not the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Many in Gaza feel abandoned by their Middle Eastern neighbors after Israel launched an offensive that has killed more than 33.000 people in response to attacks on Israeli territory by Hamas, which killed 1.200 people and took 253 hostages on October 7.

However, support has come from Iran and its regional proxies, notably Tehran's ally Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is allied with Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.

Footage circulating from the enclave showed many residents, including inside displacement tents, playing music and others joyfully shouting Allah Akbar (God is greatest) as the sky was lit up by Iranian rockets and Israeli intercepts.

"Whoever decides to attack Israel, dares to attack Israel at a time when the whole world is acting in his service, he is a hero in the eyes of the Palestinians, whether we share their (Iranian) ideology or not," Mayed said. Abu Hamza, 52, father of seven, from Gaza City.

Iran launched the attack over a suspected Israeli attack on its consulate in Syria on April 1, which killed top Revolutionary Guard commanders, and after months of clashes between Israel and Iran's regional allies sparked by the Gaza war.

Hamas, which has been locked in a war with Israel in Gaza since October 7, defended Iran's attack, saying in a statement that the attack was a "natural right and a deserved response" to the attack on the Iranian consulate.

The Palestinian People's Resistance Committee (PKK), an armed group fighting Israel alongside Hamas in Gaza, said Iran's involvement could bolster the Palestinian cause, saying for Israel it was the "last nail in its coffin".

Islamic Jihad, which like Hamas receives financial and military support from Iran, defended the Iranian attack and condemned countries it said acted as a "protective shield" for Israel.

Not everyone was supportive. Some Palestinians saw the attack as an attempt by Iran to preserve its dignity.

"Curtains on a piece of face-saving theater... The Palestinian people are the only ones paying the price with their flesh and blood," Munir al-Ghagub, a resident of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, wrote on his Facebook.

Some others said on social media that they believed the attack was coordinated with the United States in order to cause no damage, pointing to the hours it took for the Iranian drones to approach Israel and saying this gave Israel plenty of time to shoot them down.

Meanwhile, Israel continued its military attacks across the Gaza Strip, killing 43 Palestinians and wounding 62 others in the past 24 hours, according to the territory's health ministry.

In the latest incident, a Palestinian woman was killed and 23 others wounded when Israeli forces opened fire on dozens of people who tried to return to northern Gaza from the south, medics and residents said. So far there is no comment from Israel about the woman's death.

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