The operation, involving air, land, and sea incursions, marked the most significant breach of Israel’s borders since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.These plans were developed during meetings in Beirut, where officers from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps(IRGC) and representatives from several Iran-backed militant groups, including Hamas andHezbollah, refined the details, the WSJ report said.
Iranian officers, including representatives from Iran-backed militant organizations like Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, reportedly worked closely with the Gaza-based terrorist group since August to meticulously plan the October 7 attack. This assault involved thousands of rockets and armed gunmen crossing the heavily fortified Israeli border, resulting in a death toll exceeding 1,000, making it the most significant breach of Israel’s security since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Meetings in Beirut saw Iranian officers and representatives from Hamas and Hezbollah refining tactical and strategic plans for the attack, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal. Experts have asserted that an attack of this magnitude necessitated extensive planning and coordination with Iran. Lina Khatib, the director of the SOAS Middle East Institute at the University of London, emphasized that groups like Hamas do not unilaterally engage in warfare without explicit approval from Iran, drawing parallels with Hezbollah’s operations in Lebanon.
The overarching plan, as revealed by senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah and an Iranian official, aims to escalate active warfare against Israel on multiple fronts. This strategy involves collaboration with Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the north, as well as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank.
The attack was planned to coincide with Israel’s internal political turmoil surrounding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Additionally, it was orchestrated to disrupt the rapidly progressing US-brokered negotiations aimed at normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, a development perceived as a threat by Iran, according to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, the WSJ report said.
While US officials have not found concrete evidence of Iran’s involvement, European sources and an adviser to the Syrian government corroborated the account provided by senior Hamas and Hezbollah members. “We have not yet seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack, but there is certainly a long relationship,” US secretary of state Antony Blinken told CNN. However, Mahmoud Mirdawi, a senior Hamas official, asserted that the attacks were independently planned by the Palestinian group.
If Iran’s direct involvement is substantiated, tensions in the already volatile region could escalate further. Despite the Wall Street Journal’s attempts to seek comment from the Iranian delegation at the United Nations, there has been no response.
Meanwhile, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expressed support for the attacks on a social media platform, asserting the eventual eradication of the Zionist regime at the hands of the Palestinian people and regional Resistance forces.