Although Hejazi reportedly died of a heart condition, IRGC Quds Force head praises him as “martyr” who helped develop missile tech against Israel.
Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members, led by Quds Force leader Esmail Ghaani, commemorated the Iranian precision-guided missile expert Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi over the weekend while threatening Israel.
Hejazi was born in 1956 and reportedly died of a heart condition in April. According to the Tasnim News Agency’s defense group, Ghaani said in a speech commemorating the 40th day of the martyrdom of Maj.-Gen. Hejazi: “He stood up and symbolized the services rendered by martyr Qasem Soleimani at such a time – the fierce resistance of the Palestinians against the Zionist regime.”
This statement, first of all, refers to Hejazi as a martyr, like former IRGC Quds Force commander Soleimani, who was killed by the US in January 2020. Ghaani took over the Quds Force when Soleimani was killed.
Ghaani has connected Hejazi’s death to the war against Israel launched by Hamas on May 10.
“In the first three days of the Palestinian war with the Zionist regime, we fired missiles at the occupied territories as much as the entire 22-day war,” he said, comparing it to the 2008-2009 conflict between Israel and Hamas.
His point was that “more than 3,000 missiles fired by the resistance into the occupied territories are produced in the same geography.” It ended up being more than 4,000 rockets and missiles. He claimed that Palestinian children can look to this war as an example of how they will retake all of Israel and that the land is no longer well controlled by the “Zionist regime.”
He said that he advised all “Zionists go back and buy your own houses again before the houses you sold in Europe and America and elsewhere – and came to the land of Palestine – become more expensive than they are today.”
This real estate messaging has also been made by Hezbollah in recent days.
On May 25, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah said “Israelis have two citizenships, and their bags are packed and ready. Security will make them remain or leave. So they started saying, ‘Let’s leave. There’s no army or leadership to protect us.’ What happened recently in the ‘48 lands [of Israel] was a big shock to Israelis.”
This idea that Israel is temporary, that time stopped in 1948 and that Palestine will rise completely as a one-state solution is a message that Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, via the Muslim Brotherhood, have sent to their allies in the West – who have shouted “from the river to the sea” to claim Israel will be destroyed.
It is common among some on the extreme Left and the Islamist Right to make this claim. Iran and its allies have been pushing it as well.
Hezbollah, Hamas and the IRGC in Iran increasingly coordinate messaging and operations. It is plausible that Iran and Hezbollah helped Hamas plan the May 10 war. Iran precisely spelled out Hamas’s plans prior to May 10.
Ghaani also said that Hamas was able to continue to fire long-range missiles up until the day of the ceasefire on May 21 with Israel. “The Palestinian resistance acted in such a way that from the first day of the Zionist regime, they did not give up the war until they imposed these conditions on the Zionists.”
He said that “resistance” is the answer and that Palestinians had made impressive gains. “The Zionist regime must think about the day when it will leave this land in humiliation, and our brothers in Palestine must plan and act wisely for that day from today.”
He sees the recently fought “12-day war” as a turning point.
The Quds Force head said that Hejazi “gave his life” for this mission, implying that Hejazi’s death may not have been natural.