Iran responsible for Hamas attack – report

Senior Hamas officials told the Wall Street Journal that they planned the assault together with Iranian officers and got the green light last week. 

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Iran is the guiding hand behind Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel Saturday that has so far left over 700 dead and more than 2,384 injured, mostly civilians, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Senior members of both of Iran’s proxy terror groups that border the Jewish state, Hamas and Hezbollah, told the daily that officers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had been planning the multi-pronged attack since August, discussing tactics and strategy in several meetings in Beirut, Lebanon with top officials of the coastal enclave.

The IRGC also had the final word on when to begin the assault, giving the green light last week in Beirut.

On Saturday morning, more than a thousand Hamas terrorists invaded more than a dozen Jewish villages in the Gaza envelope, blowing up the border fence to pour in on land, but also coming in by sea and air in light, motorized, single-seat aircraft.

IDF forces are still fighting to clear the area of all the terrorists, who have committed numerous massacres, in what Israel has announced is a full-blown war with the terrorist organization, called Operation Iron Swords.

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“An attack of such scope could only have happened after months of planning and would not have happened without coordination with Iran,” said Lina Khatib, director of the SOAS Middle East Institute at the University of London, to the paper.

“Hamas, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, does not single-handedly make decisions to engage in war without prior explicit agreement from Iran.”

Col. Richard Kemp, a retired, decorated British army officer who held senior positions in Afghanistan and comments on the Middle East, told Israel National News Sunday as well that Iran was responsible.

“Iran’s hand was behind this attack… Iran is dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish State as their leaders have repeated again and again,” he said.

He has called for the West in general, and his country in particular, to come down hard on the Islamic Republic, tweeting in response to the report Sunday, “Britain must now proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist entity.”

Writing in The New York Post Sunday, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School Alan Dershowitz and former New York City Council president Andrew Stein said that the Islamic Republic is clearly behind the attack, since “Hamas and Hezbollah are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Iranian mullahs, who call the shots.”

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Iran’s goals for this war “are obvious,” they continued. They want to prevent the normalization of Saudi Arabian-Israeli relations, “sow disarray throughout the region,” and “elevate” Hamas over the Palestinian Authority, “thus making a two-state solution impossible — because Hamas will not settle for anything less than Israel’s total destruction.”

The only way to deter the terror groups is to deter Iran, they wrote, but the only way to do this is to punish Iran severely enough that it would see its actions don’t pay. The mullahcracy, they added, “is a legitimate military target for Israel” since “through its surrogates, [Iran] has waged war on Israel.”

The U.S. has not officially adopted the position yet that Iran is the one that should be held responsible for the newest Middle East war, with President Joe Biden issuing a general, vague warning Sunday to Israel’s enemies.

“Let me say this as clearly as I can,” he said. “This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage. The world is watching.”

Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin said the warning was directed at Hezbollah not to get involved by opening up a second front on Israel’s northern border.

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“If Hezbollah decides to start firing thousands of rockets into the north of Israel, and Israel has to fight on multiple fronts, that becomes a different situation,” she pointed out.

Hezbollah has launched only a few rockets, so far, in what seems to be a symbolic show of support for their “Palestinian brothers” who are “heroically” fighting Israel, as it said. Israel has already rushed troops to the northern border, and senior echelons in Jerusalem have given very specific, harsh warnings to Beirut to keep Hezbollah, which is part of the Lebanese government, on a tight leash.