Officials from the United States and Israel state that they are uncertain about Iran’s potential involvement in the unexpected Hamas attack on Israel over the weekend. The situation has escalated into one of the most severe periods of violence in the region in recent decades.
According to Major Nir Dinar, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, there is no evidence or proof that Iran was responsible for the attack. However, Israel also did not have any intelligence indicating the attack beforehand. Despite this, they are confident that Iran was not caught off guard.
“It is important to note that the lack of evidence does not automatically dismiss the possibility of Iran’s involvement,” he stated.
The Gaza Strip’s ruling Palestinian militant organization, Hamas, has been heavily supported and assisted by Iran and other allied governments in the surrounding area for a long time. This relationship has caused some to accuse Tehran of being involved in the recent outbreak of warfare on Saturday. Adding to the speculation in Washington and elsewhere about potential Iranian involvement is a report from the Wall Street Journal on Sunday night, which claims that top Iranian security officials had been coordinating with Hamas for weeks in preparation for the attack.
The comments made by Israeli and American officials emphasize the lack of intelligence on whether or not Tehran played a role in the attack by Hamas. Iran, on the other hand, has openly supported Hamas’ actions and a spokesperson has denied any involvement from their country.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on CNN that although there is a longstanding relationship, there is currently no evidence of Iran’s involvement or direction in this particular attack.
Before the weekend attack, there was a significant push by the United States for Saudi Arabia and Israel to come to a peace agreement, which could have major implications for Iran in the region. This potential alliance could be a threat to Iran’s standing in the Middle East, considering their longstanding rivalry with Saudi Arabia and their opposition to a potential future partnership.
A high-ranking member of the Biden administration responded to the Wall Street Journal’s report, which referenced Hamas and Hezbollah members accusing Iran. They stated, “Hamas and Hezbollah may have a motive to involve Iran, so we should not blindly accept their statements.”
The Journal additionally documented remarks from a high-ranking Hamas representative who stated that the organization orchestrated the attacks independently.
According to a recent report by The Associated Press, the number of casualties on both sides has exceeded 1,100, with numerous others sustaining injuries. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated that nine Americans have lost their lives in the Hamas attacks.