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Has Iran hit Israel in the garb of Hamas?

Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad told BBC that Iran gave its support to the Palestinian terror group to launch its surprise multi-front attack on Israel on Saturday

The Hamas-Hezbollah versus Israel conflagration is said to have an active Iranian role. The flare-up that threatens to engulf the entire West Asia, if not stopped, kicked in a week after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamenei said that Israel is a dying state that does not deserve normalization with Arabs. He had also called for countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Persian Gulf countries to adopt a united policy against Israel.

Tehran is the key backer of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad groups, as well as Lebanese group Hezbollah.

In his address at the Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, Khamenei likened the “push for normalisation” by some regional countries with Israel as “betting on the losing horse.”

He predicted that such “normalisation” is bound to fail, as the Palestinians have pushed Israel to the brink of extinction.

“The Islamic Republic firmly believes that governments that have the normalization gamble with the Zionist regime on their agenda will be in harm’s way,” he told the guests in a speech televised live. “This regime is dying and those states are betting on the losing horse.”

Interestingly, the well-coordinated military operation by Hamas, which has also got the support of other Palestinian groups, followed Ayatollah Khamenei’s warning against normalisation with Tel Aviv.

The unprecedented attack saw 300 Israeli civilians and security forces killed, over 1,000 injured, and an unknown number of people — women, children, men, elderly people, and soldiers — abducted from southern Israel and taken into the Gaza Strip.

As soon as the news of the attack broke out and videos of Hamas cadres roaming Israeli streets began to spread, exultations erupted in Iran.

Iranian people have held ceremonies across the country, hailing the resounding victory of Palestinian resistance groups in their ongoing large-scale operation against the Israeli government. In capital Tehran, people gathered at the Palestine Square as well as in front of the Palestine Embassy to celebrate the events in Israel.

The participants declared their support for the Palestinian fighters by chanting “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” and pro-Palestinian slogans.

Parliamentarians were seen hysterically celebrating in a live session of the House.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said on Saturday that the operation al-Aqsa Storm “shows the Palestinian resistance is confidently capable of conducting hybrid and multilateral operations against the occupiers.”

“What happened on Saturday is in line with the continuation of the victories of the resistance in the face of the Zionists in various fields, including in Syria, Lebanon and the occupied territories,” Kan’ani said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian described the move made by the Palestinian Resistance movement as spontaneous and as a result of Zionist regime’s continuous crimes against Palestine.

The foreign minister of the Islamic Republic also underlined the need to preserve solidarity and coherence among the Islamic countries to support the holy Quds and the oppressed Palestinian nation.

According to a report by IRNA, Amirabdollahian also dialed foreign leaders (possibly from Muslim countries) to discuss the resistance of the Palestinians against Israelis.

‘Iran Backed Our Attack’

Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad told BBC that Iran gave its support to the Palestinian terror group to launch its surprise multi-front attack on Israel on Saturday, as cited by Hebrew media.

Head of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, said that his group is going for the final push this time. “Enough is enough, the cycle of intifadas (uprisings) and revolutions in the battle to liberate our (Palestinian) land and our prisoners languishing in occupation (Israeli) prisons must be completed,” he said in a speech.

Meanwhile, a top military adviser to Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that Iran supports the “courageous” Palestinian operation against Israel.

Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said Iran will stand by the Palestinians until the liberation of Palestine and al-Quds. He expressed confidence the resistance front would also support the operation.

He urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take practical measures in that regard.


‘Scene-changing Operation’

According to Palestinian observers, the surprise military operation has changed the regional equation in favor of the “resistance axis” and shattered the myth of Israel’s invincibility.

“Up until this moment, analysts believe that the Israelis are still under immense shock, and cannot contain the situation,” said Dr. Mohammad Halasa, who has been closely monitoring the developments.

In the meantime, The Times of Israel is reporting that at least 313 Palestinians have been killed and 1,990 injured so far as the gun battle between Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas intensified on Sunday.
Most of those were apparently killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s retaliatory strikes.
“As of this hour, there are forces fighting in [Kibbutz] Kfar Aza, there are searches in many towns. There are IDF forces in all towns, there is no town that does not have an IDF force in it,” Israel Defence Forces’ top spokesman, IDF Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari was earlier quoted as saying.

Later, Sunday, Israel’s military-political cabinet invoked Article 40 Aleph, marking an official declaration of war. Such a step has not been taken since the 1973 ‘Yom Kippur War’. IDF spokesman Richard Hecht said that within the next 12 hours, the Israel Defense Forces are going to launch a military operation that will end the existence of the Gaza strip.