GAZA, July 24 : The Islamic Hamas movement on Friday slammed the United States for intercepting an Iranian civilian aircraft over Syria’s airspace.
Hazem Qassem, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said in an emailed press statement that the interception of an Iranian aircraft operated by Mahan Airlines is “a terrorist act that is part of Washington’s plans to control the Middle East.”
Over 150 passengers on board the Iranian plane were evacuated on Thursday evening after its landing at Beirut airport following interception by two U.S. warplanes. Several passengers injured.
The airplane flew back from Beirut and landed in Tehran earlier on Friday morning.
“Targeting civilians in such a barbaric way is a practical application of the concept of terrorism in international law, and it is an extension of the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people,” said Qassem.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said in a statement that it condemns “the U.S. aggression on the Iranian passenger airplane with the hardest expressions.”
“This terrorist attack explains the hostile intentions of Americans. Iran has the right to take all steps and procedures at all levels in response to the terrorist attempt against the Iranian plane,” said the statement.