Just hours after Israel and Palestinian authorities agreed to a ceasefire, Ismail Haniyeh, a chief figure in Hamas, gave a warning that it will continue to “defend” Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem remains the center of the conflict,” he said according to a report by the Jerusalem Post, suggesting fighting in the region will continue.
Haniyeh thanked “the Islamic Republic of Iran; who did not hold back with money, weapons and technical support.”
“We will use the aid of other Arab countries as well,” he added.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed to Friday’s remarks as a reason why the U.S. should not lift Iranian sanctions as the Biden administration attempts to re-enter a nuclear deal.
“America is about to supply Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief to continue this,” Pompeo said on Twitter. “For America’s security, and for that of Israel, this is dangerous.”
Haniyeh’s comments coincided with remarks made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Friday, who called on Muslim nations to take up arms in support of Palestinians.
“Muslim states must sincerely support the Palestinian people, through military…or financial support…or in rebuilding Gaza’s infrastructure,” Khamenei said in a statement, first reported Reuters.
The Iranian leader urged Muslims to demand their government support Palestinians and called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be “prosecuted by international and independent courts.”
Khamenei’s comments followed reports of unrest in other Gulf nations as the violent exchange between Israel and the Palestinian territories persisted for 11 days.
Muslim nations newly tied to Israel under the Trump-era Abraham Accords, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, felt new pressure to help stop the fighting.
Civil society groups urged the Bahrain government to expel its Israeli ambassador and protests in support of Palestinian rights were held in the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry claimed the Palestinians had won a “historic victory” over Israel.
“Congratulations to our Palestinian sisters and brothers for the historic victory. Your resistance forced the aggressor to retreat,” ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a tweet.
Iran also showed off an Iranian-made drone that reportedly has a range of over 1,200 miles and named it “Gaza,” reported Reuters Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.