Goal of ‘Death to Israel’ Will Be Tested in Coming Weeks, as War Is Laid to Effort To Foil Prospects for Peace Between Saudi Arabia and the Jewish State

Secretary Blinken claims that the Biden administration has yet to see ‘direct evidence’ that Iran was behind the attack.

Official X Account of Chancellor Scholz of Germany
The Brandenburg Gate at Berlin illuminated With the flag of Israel, October 7, 2023. Despite the superficial show of support for Israel this week, support for Israel in Europe does not run universally deep.  Official X Account of Chancellor Scholz of Germany

“Death to Israel,” an ideology and goal shared by Iran’s Islamic Republic, Hamas, and Hezbollah, will be put to the test in the coming days and weeks — and America is yet to fully connect the dots, which may include the much-advertised drive to promote Saudi-Israeli peace.  

“We haven’t yet seen direct evidence that Iran was behind this particular attack, or involved,” Secretary Blinken told ABC News, adding, however, that Iran’s support of Hamas over the years “is clear.” 

“We have documented Iranian direct involvement for months,” the director of Alma, a northern-Israeli based think tank, Sarit Zehavi, told the Sun, adding that denying it is like saying it is raining when one is spat on. 

Mr. Blinken pushed back against accusations by several Republican leaders that the recent transfer of $6 billion for Iran’s “humanitarian needs” have been a factor in Hamas’ decision to attack Israel. To date, “not a single penny” of the ransom, paid for the release of American hostages, which is currently held in a Qatari bank, was used by Iran, he said.

Perhaps one explanation for administration officials’ failure to acknowledge an Iranian role in the Saturday attack is a reluctance to block the $6 billion transfer of funds in response to the Hamas attack.

Yet, Iran’s intimate ties with Hamas are undeniable. “We thank the Islamic Republic of Iran who provided us with weapons, money and other equipment,” a spokesman for Hamas’s military arm, a man known as Abu Obaidah, a spokesman for Hamas’s military arm, Izuddin al Qassem, told Gaza-based reporters Sunday. Iran, Abu Obaidah said, “gave us missiles to destroy Zionist fortresses, and helped us with standard anti-tank missiles.” 

President Raisi of the Islamic republic on Sunday conducted separate phone conversations with Hamas chief, Ismail Haniyeh, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah about “the developments in Palestine,” Iran International reports. Mr. Haniyeh visited Tehran late last month, meeting Supreme Leader Khamanei and  other officials. 

On Sunday, meanwhile, Hezbollah shot several salvos toward Israel’s Har Dov, which the terrorist organization considers Lebanese territory. The Israel Defense Force returned fire, destroying a tent that the terrorist Shiite army had placed inside Israeli territory as part of several attempts to test Israel’s military preparedness. 

Israeli officials dread the prospect of Hezbollah joining the Hamas attack, opening a northern front and complicating military plans in Gaza. At least 600 Israelis have been killed, thousands were injured and dozens are held hostage inside Gaza.

One of the reasons for the high casualties number is an attack on a Sukkot-end “nature party” celebrated near the Gaza border by 4,000 young Israelis, who were mowed down by Hamas fire in the early hours of the Saturday attack. On Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei approvingly posted a photo of horror-filled Israeli youths attempting to flee the massacre. The posting was later removed by X.     

On Sunday morning the cabinet of Prime Minister Netanyahu officially termed the fighting in the south a legal state of “war.” Rather than just air-bombing Hamas targets in Gaza, as it has done in the past, Israeli troops could enter the strip for the first time in years. The war is expected to last weeks or months, and could involve Hezbollah as well.

Hezbollah was created by Iran in 1982 as a militia designed to be a counterweight to the IDF. Under Iran’s guidance and support, it has grown into the well-armed, battle-worn military force now possessing tens of thousands missiles and mortars, and it controls Lebanon. Hezbollah has become a blueprint for Iran’s nurturing of proxies in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and the West Bank. One of its most prized proxy armies now is the Gaza-based Hamas. 

For weeks, President Biden has publicly promoted the idea of a peace treaty between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Palestinian Authority, a Hamas rival, has pushed back, demanding Israeli concessions in the West Bank as part of any deal. Hamas, in contrast, doesn’t recognize the right of Israel to exist, and is openly opposed to any Arab peace with the Jewish state. 

Similarly, officials of the regime in Tehran have warned any Muslim country against making deals with Israel. “Countries that make the gamble of normalization with Israel will lose, they are betting on a losing horse,” Mr. Khamanei said. 

Going even further in linking Hamas’s attack on Saturday to the Saudi-Israeli deal, a Hezbollah statement on Sunday claimed it was a “decisive response to Israel’s continued occupation and a message to those seeking normalization with Israel.” 

If Hamas indeed timed the evidently long-planned assault to undermine the Biden administration’s peace push, it may have worked. Saudi Arabia issued a statement essentially blaming Israel for Hamas’s aggression. Pro-Hamas protests in Bahrain and other members of the Abraham accords were conducted Sunday. In Egypt, long at peace with Israel, a pro-Hamas policeman shot dead two Israeli tourists. 

“There are two paths” in the Mideast, Mr. Blinken said Sunday when asked about Saudi-Israel peace. One is the path of integration, and the other is the path of terror, as in Hamas terrorism, he said. Yet, as long as the administration accommodates the head of the snake, the Islamic Republic, the Iranian-led terror ways will win out.

The New York Sun

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