In March, a Hezbollah leader met with Iranian officials to discuss a military offensive against Israel, according to an exclusive report from The New York Times.
Earlier this year, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah conferred with a group of Iranian officials. The revelation sheds light on the circumstances surrounding the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, which began when the terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip initiated a surprise attack against the Jewish state.
“Gen. Esmail Ghaani, who is in charge of supervising Iran’s network of proxy militias as head of the country’s paramilitary Quds Force, repeatedly traveled to Lebanon for covert sessions with leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah, a Shiite Lebanese militia that Iran also supports,” the Times reported.
“Over the past year, Mr. Ghaani worked to coordinate and unify all of Iran’s proxies, according to public statements from Iranian analysts and five Iranians familiar with the work of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps,” the report added.
The report described Nasrallah’s meeting with Iran’s strategists, observing that the discussion centered on a new military confrontation with Israel.
“Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, held an hourslong online meeting in March with an elite group of strategists from all the Iran-backed militias and told them to get ready for a war with Israel with a scope and reach — including a ground invasion — that would mark a new era, according to two participants from Iran and Syria. The participants spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the meeting,” the report noted.
“There are conflicting accounts of whether these activities were leading specifically toward last week’s attack by Hamas, which left 1,200 Israelis dead and shattered the country’s sense of security,” the Times added.
Three Iranians with ties to the country’s Revolutionary Guards who are familiar with the operation claim that “a tight circle of leaders from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas helped plan the attack starting over a year ago” and “had advanced knowledge of it.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has publicly denied the country played a role, even as he and other Iranian leaders praised the carnage.
A senior Hamas official stated that the Israeli attacks had been plotted for years under the guise of administering Gaza.
“We made them think that Hamas was busy with governing Gaza, and that it wanted to focus on the 2.5 million Palestinians [in Gaza], and has abandoned the resistance altogether,” he confessed.
“All the while, under the table, Hamas was preparing for this big attack,” Baraka continued. “The rockets of the resistance cover all of Palestine. Where would [Netanyahu] take [the Israelis who were attacked]? To Tel Aviv? We bombed Tel Aviv on the very first day of the attack. Does he want to take them to the Galilee? The northern front – with Lebanon – has opened today. The Galilee is no longer safe for the Zionist enemy. We can bomb the Galilee from inside occupied Palestine.”
Senior Hamas official Ali Baraka made the admission during an interview on Russian state television on October 9.
“We kiss the foreheads and arms of the resourceful and intelligent designers,” Khamenei said this week in his first televised speech since the attack. But he added: “Those who say that the recent saga is the work of non-Palestinians have miscalculated.”