U.S. & Israel probing potential Iran involvement in Hamas attack

October 9, 2023

U.S. and Israeli officials on Monday were continuing to investigate whether Iran had a direct involvement in Hamas’ attack on Gaza Saturday.

On Sunday, Biden Administration officials conceded to CNN that they had yet to find a smoking gun linking Iran to the planning and execution of the air strikes, despite Tehran’s history of supporting the terrorist organization. 

However, U.S. officials officials have begun to go as far as to say that Iran’s well-known connections to Hamas would suggest it is likely Tehran helped to train and finance efforts that led to this weekend’s attack.

“Iran’s close ties to Hamas and financial and operational support make it likely they had a role in this,” s Democratic Senator who was expected to receive a classified briefing on Monday told CNN.

Yet a spokesperson for Israel’s military, Maj. Nir Dinar, told Politico, “We have no evidence or proof” that Iran was behind the attack—though he further asserted, “We are 100 percent sure that the Iranians were not surprised.”

A report in the Wall Street Journal Sunday evening cited unidentified members of both Hamas and the terrorist group Hezbollah who claimed that top Iranian security officials had planned for weeks to launch the attack with Hamas.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday insisted that the unfreezing of Iranian funds last month as part of a prisoner swap for five wrongfully detained Americans last month did not go to Iran-backed Hamas. 

In fact, that unfrozen $6 billion was moved to a bank in Doha, where authorities in Qatar would oversee its use strictly for humanitarian purposes as a stipulation of of the agreement. 

“So people are either misinformed or they’re misinforming. And either way, it’s wrong,” said Blinken, countering assertions from some top Republicans.

But looming over the Middle East has been a U.S.-driven effort for Saudi Arabia and Israel to reach a peace agreement. Such an alliance could greatly disrupt the status of Iran—a longtime rival of Saudi Arabia—in the region. 

Israel officially declared war on Hamas on Sunday.

As of Monday afternoon, the death toll in Gaza from Saturday’s attack had reached close to 1,300 as of Monday midday including at least nine Americans. The number was expected to continue rising.

PHOTO: Rocket being fired at Israeli-occupied territory this weekend

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