Iranian security officials helped plan Hamas’s Saturday surprise attack on Israel and gave the green light for the assault at a meeting in Beirut last Monday, according to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah. Via The Wall Street Journal:
Officers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had worked with Hamas since August to devise the air, land and sea incursions—the most significant breach of Israel’s borders since the 1973 Yom Kippur War—those people said.
Details of the operation were refined during several meetings in Beirut attended by IRGC officers and representatives of four Iran-backed militant groups, including Hamas, which holds power in Gaza, and Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group and political faction in Lebanon, they said.
U.S. officials say they haven’t seen evidence of Tehran’s involvement. In an interview with CNN that aired Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “We have not yet seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack, but there is certainly a long relationship.”
The thing that’s so difficult about this is that we have no idea who to believe. Remember yellowcake, the pretext for invading Iraq? We just don’t know who’s telling the truth, or what their agenda is. And sure, the Wall Street Journal used to be a great newspaper — until Rupert Murdoch bought it.
A European official and an adviser to the Syrian government, however, gave the same account of Iran’s involvement in the lead-up to the attack as the senior Hamas and Hezbollah members.
Asked about the meetings, Mahmoud Mirdawi, a senior Hamas official, said the group planned the attacks on its own. “This is a Palestinian and Hamas decision,” he said.
A spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations said the Islamic Republic stood in support of Gaza’s actions but didn’t direct them.