Iran helped the Palestinian terror group Hamas in planning a surprise attack on Israel that took place on a Saturday, according to an explosive new report. Senior members of Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militant group, have claimed that the attack that resulted in the death of over 700 people was authorized and approved by Iranian security officials.
The report suggests that the final approval for the attack was given during a meeting in Beirut last week. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Hamas orchestrated a comprehensive plan involving air, land, and sea invasions with the help of officers from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and has owned responsibility.
Planned by Iran, Executed by Hamas
In response to these revelations, Israel has denounced Iran, labeling it a 'terrorist state' due to its alleged involvement and support for the attacks carried out by Hamas.
The report states that officers affiliated with Iran's notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had collaborated with the Gaza Strip-based terrorist organization, Hamas, since August to meticulously plan the attack that took place on October 7.
The assault involved launching thousands of rockets and deploying armed gunmen over the heavily fortified Israeli border.
The official approval for the attack was reportedly given during a meeting held on a Monday in Beirut.
Four other military groups backed by Iran were also believed to be present at the meeting in Beirut.
The assault carried out by Hamas marked the most significant breach of security for the Jewish state since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Several experts have expressed a clear consensus that Iran played a significant role in planning and coordinating the violent attack, given the level of sophistication and strategic planning involved.
"An attack of such scope could only have happened after months of planning and would not have happened without coordination with Iran," Lina Khatib, director of the SOAS Middle East Institute at the University of London, told the outlet.
"Hamas, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, does not single-handedly make decisions to engage in war without prior explicit agreement from Iran."
According to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as an Iranian official cited in the Journal report, the overarching strategy entails launching an active war against Israel from all possible fronts.
The objective is to close in on Israel with support from Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the north, along with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
As of the latest update, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that he has not seen concrete evidence linking Iran to the recent attack.
"We have not yet seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack, but there is certainly a long relationship," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday on CNN.
A senior Hamas official claimed that Hamas acted independently in making the decision for the attack. "This is a Palestinian and Hamas decision," he said.
However, other sources, including a European official and an adviser to Syria, suggest that the attack was planned collaboratively, involving meetings between various groups and the IRGC.
These meetings are reported to have included high-ranking officials from Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and the IRGC. The extent of collaboration and involvement from external parties may become clearer as investigations progress and more information is gathered from various sources.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran's foreign minister, attending two of the meetings suggests a level of involvement and interest from Iran in the planning and coordination of the attack.
Moreover. Ismail Qaani, the leader of the IRGC, has been involved in efforts to unite Iran's foreign proxies, possibly as part of a broader strategy to expand Iran's influence in the region.
Historically, Iran has supported Hamas, but its increased involvement and active participation in recent months demonstrate a shift in its approach, potentially indicating a desire to take a more central role in the planning and execution of actions against Israel.
The situation has escalated significantly, with Israel branding Iran as a "terrorist state" amid the escalating violence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed a "mighty vengeance," pledging a forceful reaction targeting areas in Gaza controlled by Hamas.
In addition to the conflict with Hamas in Gaza, there have been exchanges of rocket and artillery fire between Israeli forces in the north and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, which is known to be backed by Iran.
The involvement of Hezbollah further raises concerns about the potential for a wider conflict in the Middle East. The situation remains tense, and the international community closely monitors developments to prevent further escalation and work toward de-escalation and peace.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, spokesman of the Israel Defense Forces (lDF) said: "Without Iran's funding, weapons, training, guidance and political incitement, Hamas would not have the capability nor the capacity.
"This was a watershed moment, unprecedented in scale, severity, brutality and the sheer joy with which terrorists were butchering Israeli citizens."
The Israeli government has officially declared war and authorized "significant military steps" to retaliate against Hamas for its surprise attack launched from the Gaza Strip. The attack initiated by Hamas involved an unprecedented incursion from Gaza into Israel.
Israeli forces have been actively engaged in attempting to eliminate the remaining groups of militant fighters who have taken refuge in various towns within southern Israel. The situation remains tense and is continuously evolving, with both sides taking military actions and efforts to control the ongoing conflict.