Iranian officials spent weeks helping Hamas plan its attack on Israel, WSJ reports – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

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DAVID RAUDALES UK

Iranian officials spent weeks helping Hamas plan its attack on Israel, WSJ reports

A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023. Israel, reeling from the deadliest attack on its territory in half a century, formally declared war on Hamas Sunday as the conflict’s death toll surged close to 1,000 after the Palestinian militant group launched a massive surprise assault from Gaza.

MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal reported that Iranian officials co-created plans for Hamas’ attack on Israel.
Israeli authorities say 700 people have been killed and 1,500 wounded by Hamas strikes this weekend.
The Palestinian Health Ministry reports 313 dead and 2,000 injured by Israeli counter-strikes.

Iranian security officials partnered with Hamas for weeks to plan this weekend’s land, sea, and air strikes against Israel, which led to Israel’s declaration of war against the Palestinian militant group

The Wall Street Journal reported that officials from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have partnered with Hamas since August to prepare for the breach of Israel’s borders. The outlet reported the two groups finalized the plan last Monday during a meeting in Beirut, according to officials from both Hamas and IRGC.

While the US has not yet publicly confirmed that IRGC and Hamas planned the attacks together, CNN reported one official said, “of course Iran is in the picture,” adding that “they’ve provided support for years to Hamas and Hezbollah.” 

Representatives for the Israeli Defense Force and Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.

Iran has long supported international militant groups, including Palestine’s Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah, providing the groups with financial assistance and military hardware. Hamas and Hezbollah have vowed to fight for Israel’s destruction, per the Journal, with Hezbollah leaders praising the attacks by Hamas.

While Hamas fighters have made up the bulk of the attacks on Israel this weekend, Hezbollah fighters have reportedly been firing on Israeli forces since the escalation in the conflict began. Hezbollah focused missile strikes on a contested portion of the Israel, Lebanon, and Syria border on Sunday, according to reporting by the Associated Press. At the same time, Hamas exchanged strikes with Israel over the Gaza Strip.

There have been no widespread reports of involvement by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in this weekend’s conflict in Israel outside of helping to plan the attack by Hamas forces.

Israeli authorities say at least 700 people have been killed and 1,500 wounded by Hamas’ strikes this weekend, with some taken hostage. The Palestinian Health Ministry reports 313 dead and 2,000 injured by Israeli counter-strikes.

The declaration of war this weekend is an escalation of decades of tension between the two groups since the founding of Israel in 1948, including the forced evictions of Palestinians from newly-declared Israeli land, and years of deadly missile strikes exchanged between the two nations. The last significant escalation in the long-simmering conflict between Israel and Hamas was in 2014, leaving 2,200 Gaza residents dead.

Multiple human rights groups — both international and within Israel’s borders — have described the system of government by Israel over those living in the West Bank as “apartheid,” saying the treatment of Palestinians increasingly resembles that of pre-1990s South Africa. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has declared some of Israel’s actions against Palestinians war crimes.

In response to the surprise Saturday attacks by Hamas, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said Gaza will “pay a price” it “has never known,” vowing to wipe out Hamas and take complete control of Gaza. The Washington Post reported US officials said Sunday they expect Israel to launch a full-scale ground invasion in the next 24 to 48 hours.

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