Did Hamas Fighters Receive Specialized Combat Training in Iran?

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Iran’s claim that it did not take part in Hamas’s attack on Israel is getting harder to believe. The Wall Street Journal has published a new report that highlights Iran’s involvement in the planning and execution of the terrorist groups’ surprise attack on southern Israel, which began the Middle East war. Reports suggest that Hamas fighters and operatives of other terrorist groups received “specialized” training in Iran only weeks before the attack.

This new information dispels any doubts that remained about Iran’s involvement in the attack which resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 Israelis. Many of them were not combatants.

According to those familiar with the intelligence surrounding the attack, in the weeks preceding Hamas’s Oct. 7, 2014 attack on Israel hundreds of militants from the Palestinian Islamist group received specialized training for combat in Iran.

The people reported that about 500 militants, mostly from Hamas, and a group allied to it, Palestinian Islamic Jihad participated in the September exercises, which were led by the Quds force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Brig. Gen. Esmail Qaani, the head of Quds Force, and senior Palestinian officials attended. They also said that Gen. Esmail Quaani, head of Quds Force was present.

Hamas fighters from Gaza killed more than 1,400 people on Oct. 7. Most of them were civilians. Many others were taken hostage and returned to Gaza where they are held as hostages.

Hamas terrorists used drones to destroy Israeli surveillance posts and high-tech equipment. Paragliders were used by some to fly into Israel. Some used motorcycles. These are commonly used by Iranian paramilitary groups but were not used by Hamas before Oct. 7.

U.S. officials have said that Iran regularly trains militants in Iran, and elsewhere. However, they do not know of any mass training just before the attack. U.S. officials, as well as those familiar with intelligence, said that they did not have any information to suggest Iran had conducted training to prepare specifically for the events on Oct. 7.

Israel launched an airstrike in the Gaza Strip – the area controlled by Hamas – to counterattack. Israel Defense Forces is currently preparing for a massive ground invasion to eliminate Hamas.

Israel has been highlighting Iran’s support of Hamas and terrorist groups for many years. The United States claims that they do not have any direct evidence of the Iranian regime being involved in this attack. The Wall Street Journal’s findings make one wonder, however: Is a smoking weapon really needed when the room is filled with smoke?

Another report from earlier this month revealed that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, met with Iranian officials to discuss a possible military offensive against Israel in March. The group has been involved in skirmishes in the north of the country with Israeli forces and has hinted that it may increase its attacks on the Jewish state.

Also, it was revealed that Iranian officials in the security services assisted Hamas with planning the attack on Israel on October 7. Hamas and Hezbollah senior members said that the regime approved the attack at a Beirut meeting. U.S. officials continue to claim that the regime was not involved in the planning.

Senior U.S. officials, as well as others who are familiar with the intelligence surrounding the attacks, have disputed these accounts of the meeting on Oct. 2. Washington, according to several U.S. officials, has “compelling intelligence” that the Hamas attack on Iran was a surprise.

“The information we have does show that there is no direct link between the Hamas attack on October 7 and Iran.” We’ll keep an eye on this, said Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Last week, Gen. Pat Ryder stated.

Hamas officials boasted about Iran’s support ever since the attacks. Khaled Meshaal said that Hezbollah, Iran, and other groups had provided weapons, expertise, and technology to Hamas in Doha.

It is clear that despite Iran’s cloak-and-dagger tactics, they are more involved than they want the world to think. It would be best if international actors stopped believing the narrative of the regime and began peeling back layers to reveal Tehran’s role in the war.