Thousands of Iranians celebrate missile attacks on Israel

Chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” fill the air in Tehran’s Palestine Square Saturday night.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Thousands of Iranians took to the streets to celebrate their country’s missile and drone attacks on Israel overnight Saturday and early Sunday morning, which Tehran dubbed “Operation Honest Promise.”

The name stemmed from Iran’s vow to retaliate after the IDF’s unacknowledged assassination two weeks ago of two of the country’s generals and five other military officers in Iran’s diplomatic compound in Damascus.

The highest-value target, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, was the head of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which plans and directs all extraterritorial terror forces funded by the regime.

A large banner has hung for days in Tehran’s Palestine Square, asking Israelis, in Hebrew, “Have you stocked your safe rooms with enough food?” because Iran’s reaction “is coming.” The word “shelter” is printed in both English and Hebrew on a red Star of David, with pictures of shadows of missiles falling around and through it.

In the square, chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” filled the air as demonstrators waved both the Iranian and Palestinian flags as well as banners saying, “God’s victory is near.”

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Some held pictures of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the previous head of the Quds Force, who was assassinated by an American airstrike outside the Baghdad Airport in January 2020.

Motorcyclists and cars weaved through the crowd honking their horns, fireworks lit up the sky, and joyous people waved their cellphones with flashlights on as they sang and flashed “V” for victory signs with their fingers.

A new mural was revealed in the square that said “The next slap [will be] fiercer.”

AFP reported some reactions on the street, quoting two people who hoped that there would be no further conflagration due to the situation, and one university professor who said, “War is always bad and worrying — a person who has experienced war would never support it, but sometimes to achieve peace, a war is necessary.”

Regime supporters also took to the streets in Isfahan, Iran’s third largest city, which was Zahedi’s hometown.

There were also rallies in support of the regime outside of Iran, such as outside the country’s embassy in London.

The Iranian attack, which consisted of a few hundred drones and ballistic missiles, is the first time the mullahcracy has tried to strike Israel directly.

For decades, it has led its quiet war with the Jewish state only through terror proxies on the border, mainly Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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In a new twist, after the Israel-Hamas war began six months ago, Iran ordered its Houthi proxies in Yemen to begin attacking Israel by launching missiles at Israel’s southern tip of Eilat, with two slipping through so far but causing no fatalities.

The IDF said that 99% of the airborne assaults were foiled, with the joint efforts of Israeli, American, British and French jets and Israel’s air defense, including its Arrow-3 anti-missile system, shooting down the missiles and UAVs.

One Israeli child was seriously injured when hit by the detritus of an interceptor missile and was taken to the hospital.

Iran’s UN Mission categorized its reaction as based on international law.

“Conducted on the strength of Article 51 of the UN Charter pertaining to legitimate defense, Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus,” its statement said.

While adding that “The matter can be deemed concluded,” it warned Israel against any further action against Iran.

“However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe,” the statement said, concluding with a message to the U.S. not to get involved in what it deemed a bilateral conflict.