JERUSALEM – Iran is anticipating a U.S. or Israeli military strike on its nuclear facilities and has been providing Palestinian terrorists and other regional allies with contingency plans for attacks against the Jewish state and American regional interests in the event of war, according to Palestinian terrorist leaders.
A senior leader of the Islamic Jihad terror group, which Israel says is backed by Iran, told WND Tehran is expecting to be attacked, but he didn’t provide a time frame in which Iran anticipates a strike.
He claimed during any attack his organization has been directed by Iran to “wreak havoc” on Israel with suicide bombings, rocket attacks and “special surprises.” He said rocket attacks would be launched from both the Gaza Strip and from the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem.
He threatened his terror group will target American interests in the Middle East whether any purported strike against Tehran is carried out by Israel or the U.S.
“The Zionists and the Americans are coordinated 100 percent. It doesn’t matter who attacks Iran, we are planning to hit them both,” said the Islamic Jihad leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he said the topic was “very sensitive.”
He said overall Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shallah has been coordinating war plans with Iran, Syria and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah Lebanese militia. Shallah resides in Damascus and travels frequently to Tehran.
Abu Ahmed, the northern West Bank chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror organization, told WND all major Palestinian militant organizations are preparing to work together in the event Iran is attacked.
“Our strategy is not to leave the Islamic alliance (Iran) alone against the enemy. All Palestinian organizations will work together in shooting rockets, suicide bomb attacks and other steps and actions decided closely.”
The Brigades is the declared military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party. Together with Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the last two years, including a bombing last month in Eilat and an attack in Tel Aviv last April that killed eight Israelis and American teenager Daniel Wultz.
Israel says major Brigades cells in the Gaza Strip and West Bank receive Iranian funding through contacts with Hezbollah.
Abu Ahmed said in his terror group’s estimation Iran will indeed be attacked.
“It’s not a question of if, but when. The campaign now in the American media is just like the campaign before the invasion of Iraq,” he charged.
A senior leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terror group, speaking on condition of anonymity, told WND his group has also been preparing for what he called “the upcoming war.”
The Committees is a coalition of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank responsible for hundreds of anti-Israel rocket and shooting attacks. It is accused of bombing a U.S. convoy in Gaza in 2003 in which three American government contractors were killed.
“We are preparing the tomb that Allah is digging for the Zionists and Americans,” said the Committees leader.
He claimed during any U.S. or Israeli military strike against Tehran, a response will be directed against Israel and American interests by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists.
“The war will be a war on more than one front. It will be everybody against everybody. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the Palestinian organizations will work together. War with Iran is coming and it means the Middle East will not remain the same after it,” the Committees leader said.
Syria and Iran signed a military agreement in which either will respond if the other is attacked.
Israeli security officials told WND Israel is not currently planning to strike Iran. Speaking theoretically, they said if any war breaks out involving Iran, they expect Syria, Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists to join the fray and attack Israel.
The security officials said the greatest threat Syria poses to the Jewish state are the country’s missiles. They noted Syria recently test-fired two Scud-D surface-to-surface missiles, which have a range of about 250 miles, covering most Israeli territory. The officials said the Syrian missile test was coordinated with Iran and is believed to have been successful. It is not known what type of warhead the missiles were armed with.
In addition to longer range Scuds, Syria is in possession of shorter range missiles such as 220mm and 305mm rockets, some of which have been passed on to Hezbollah.
According to information received by Israel, Russia is set to conclude a deal worth several hundred million dollars transferring thousands of advanced antitank missiles to Syria. Antitank missiles used by Hezbollah during Israel’s war in Lebanon this past summer devastated Israeli tanks and caused the highest number of Israeli troop casualties during the 34 days of military confrontations.
Last week, a senior officer from the intelligence unit of the Israeli Defense Forces announced Hezbollah is stronger today than before the 2006 Lebanon war.
“Hezbollah has reinforced and it is stronger today than it was before the war in Lebanon,” General Yossi Beidatz, head of the IDF’s intelligence research department, told the Knesset.
During the war in Lebanon, Hezbollah fired more than 3,000 rockets into northern Israel, killing 39 civilians and devastating many northern towns.
Beidatz also said Syria is reinforcing its military to prepare for the possibility of a new armed conflict in the region.
According to reports in the Israeli media, Syria, aided by Iranian officers, has been boosting its army and navy. The reports, denied by Damascus, claimed Syria last week was moving troops closer to the border with Israel.
The claim by Palestinian terrorists Iran is preparing for war come as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday his country’s nuclear program cannot stop while a deputy foreign minister vowed Tehran was prepared for any eventuality, “even for war.”
“Iran has obtained the technology to produce nuclear fuel and Iran’s move is like a train … which has no brake and no reverse gear,” Ahmadinejad said, according to Iranian state media.
Manouchehr Mohammadi, a deputy at Iran’s foreign ministry commented, “We have prepared ourselves for any situation, even for war.”
Iranian military commanders have said recent war games, the latest of which involved testing several missiles this month, show Iran’s readiness to counter any attack.
Meanwhile U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said over the weekend Iran’s atomic ambitions must be curbed. He told reporters “all options” were on the table.
During a visit to Australia, Cheney said it would be a “serious mistake” to allow Iran to become a nuclear power. An Australian newspaper quoted Cheney endorsing comments by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that the only thing worse than a military confrontation with Iran would be a nuclear-armed Iran.
Iran ignored last week’s United Nations deadline to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to fuel for nuclear power plants or produce material for warheads. Tehran claims it wants to negotiate but has repeatedly ruled out suspending its atomic program.
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