DUBAI Nov 18 A senior Iranian lawmaker denied
his country had supplied Palestinian Islamist militants in Gaza
with missiles capable of hitting Israel's commercial centre,
Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam television reported.
Israel began air strikes on Gaza on Wednesday, with the
declared goal of deterring Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group
that runs the Gaza Strip, from launching rockets that have
plagued its southern communities for years.
Hamas' armed wing said on Saturday it had launched an
Iranian-made Fajr-5 rocket at Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial
centre, about 70 km (43 miles) north of Gaza, in the third
rocket attack on the city since Wednesday.
Israeli police said Saturday's rocket was intercepted
mid-air by an Israeli anti-missile battery and caused no
casualties or damage.
Israel's enemy Iran, which supports and arms Hamas, has
condemned the offensive begun by the Israel Defence Forces as
But Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian parliament's
national security and foreign policy committee, said Israeli
claims that Iran was supplying rockets were unfounded, according
to a report posted on Al Alam's website on Saturday evening.
The militants were self-sufficient and in no need of weapons
from outside their territory, he added, according to Al Alam.
With its 75 km (46 mile) range and a 175 kg (385 pound)
warhead - powerful enough to shear through a concrete apartment
block - the Fajr is a prestige weapon for Hamas, which is
massively outgunned by Israel's technologically superior
By putting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in reach of the
Palestinians, the Fajrs are also potential strategic
game-changers that could draw even fiercer Israeli attacks on
The Israelis say they have destroyed around 20 of the
rockets on the ground and only a few remain in the Gaza
(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati and Mirna Sleiman in Dubai and
Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Editing by Andrew Heavens)