A senior Iranian official has denied his country supplied the Fajr 5 missiles which Palestinian militants have been firing at Tel Aviv, Iran’s al-Alam television reported on Saturday.
“We deny having delivered the Fajr 5 to the Palestinian resistance. The aim of such accusations is to portray the resistance as weak whereas it is perfectly capable of producing the arms it needs,” said Allaeddine Boroujerdi, head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
The denial follows reports by Israeli media in which they quoted sourced in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence division as claiming that “Iran has large stockpiles of chemical and microbial weapons and it has armed the Iranian backed Hezbollah group with them. The sources also claimed that Iran has Quds Forces in Gaza and other Palestinian territories to help Hamas and Islamic Jihad in setting up underground rocket facilities while training and supervising the Palestinians in launching attacks on Israel.”
The Israeli media also reported that “The escalation of the Gaza conflict was ordered by the highest authority in Iran , and rockets targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are in fact a warning to Israel that its Iron Dome missile defense system cannot thwart Iran’s ballistic missiles and tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in the hands of Hezbollah.”
Other Israeli reports which could not be confirmed claimed that Hezbollah smuggled long range missiles to Gaza.
Islamic Jihad claimed its militants fired a Fajr 5 which crashed into the sea off Tel Aviv on Thursday.
Sirens went off in Tel Aviv again on Saturday for a third straight day, sending people scuttling for cover, a day after a rocket crashed into the Mediterranean near the city center, AFP correspondents said.
The latest rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
The armed wing of the Islamist Hamas movement which rules Gaza and which like Islamic Jihad is supported by Tehran, claimed the latest Fajr 5 fire.
The Fajr 5 rocket has five times the range of the home-produced Qassam rockets normally used by Palestinian militants in Gaza to target Israel, but neither are very accurate, defense analysts say.
Fajr 5 rockets can be fired from the back of a 6×6 truck to hit targets up to 75 kilometers (46 miles) away. This compares to a range of between four and 13 kilometers for the Qassam rockets.