(New York, N.Y.) — Senior officials of U.S.-designated terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah confirmed that the Islamic Republic of Iran had a central role in planning and authorizing the terrorist attacks launched against Israel on Saturday that killed hundreds of Israelis, wounded thousands more, and resulted in Israelis, Americans, Thais, and potentially citizens of other nations being taken hostage by Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
Separately, Hamas spokesperson Ghazi Hamad confirmed to the BBC that the terror organization had “direct backing for the attack” from Iran. And the United States has stated that Iran was ‘broadly complicit’ in the Hamas attack and is responsible for backing and training Hamas, ‘without a doubt.’
Hamas and Hezbollah officials told the Wall Street Journal that Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers met with senior Hamas and Hezbollah leaders recently in Beirut to “refine” details of the terror attack before Hamas began its assault on October 7. The broader goal, according to Iranian, Hamas, and Hezbollah officials, is to create a “multi-front threat” that can “strangle Israel from all sides.”
Qatar, which has provided significant financing to Hamas, harbors Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal, as well as Hamas political bureau member Izzat al-Rishq and spokesman Husam Badran. They live and work openly in Doha, where Haniyeh and other Hamas leaders watched the attack on Israel unfold. After Hamas began its attack Saturday, Qatar issued a call for calm but held Israel “solely responsible” for the escalation. Qatar should immediately detain members of Hamas, so they can be held accountable for its continued support of the group.
Turkey, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, allows Hamas to conduct military training exercises in the country and maintain a bureau in Istanbul from which it has coordinated terror attacks against Israel. Hamas also maintains an investment portfolios “worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies across the Middle East” that is reportedly managed in Turkey by businesses including Trend Gayrimenkul Yatirim Ortakligi A.S., which the United States designated in May 2022. The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) maintains its call for Turkey to expel or arrest all members of Hamas currently domiciled or operating in Turkey.
Since April 2023, Iran has been rallying its proxies to launch coordinated attacks on Israel, with Hamas carrying out a series of brazen attacks on Israelis in the West Bank and Tel Aviv as Hezbollah has ratcheted up tensions with Israel near the Golan Heights. Iran, however, is not the only state actor that support Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups.
To read CEP’s report Iran and its Proxies, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource Hamas, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource Hezbollah, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource Palestinian Islamic Jihad, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource HARBORS Campaign: Turkey, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource HARBORS Campaign: Qatar, please click here.