U.S. Investigating Whether Iran Provided Advanced Training To Hamas

TOPSHOT - Palestinian militants move towards the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Barrages of rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip at dawn as militants from the blockaded Palestinian enclave infiltrated Israel, with at least one person killed, the army and medics said. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
3:05 PM – Wednesday, October 11, 2023

American authorities have been examining whether or not Hamas terrorists who initiated the surprise attack on Israel were given advanced instruction from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


Additionally, officials are trying to figure out whether Hamas utilized Palestinian protests at the Gaza border fence as a shield in order to place explosives there that were eventually used to break the Israeli barrier.

If this is confirmed, the advanced training and position of the explosives would be the most recent indication of decades of support Oran has given to Hamas.

The invasion on Israel would not have been possible without the funding, weapons, and advanced training that Iran has provided to the militant group, according to current and former U.S. officials.

This is because the current attack on the nation is much more complex and monumental than previous Hamas operations.

“Hamas could not be a fraction of the group that it is — neither a political, social or religious entity nor a terrorist and militant entity — without Iran’s financial support, provision of weapons and training,” said Matthew Levitt, a former senior official in the Treasury and State departments who worked on counterterrorism. 

During a White House news conference on Tuesday, Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security expert, stated that Iran was “complicit” in the invasion on Israel, which has murdered over 1,000 Israelis.

“We’ve said since the beginning that Iran is complicit in a broad sense because they have provided the lion’s share of the funding for the military wing of Hamas, they’ve provided training, they have provided capabilities, they have provided support,” Sullivan explained. “And they’ve had engagement and contact with Hamas over years and years, and all of that has played a role in contributing to what we have seen.”

Sullivan also mentioned that the U.S. could not currently verify if Iran was aware of the attacks on Israel before it occurred or if the country had assisted with the planning or operating of the surprise invasion.

Additionally, Levitt stated that he was skeptical that evidence of Iran’s direct role in the invasion would surface. He went on to explain that officials rarely provide explicit commands to their representatives to direct certain operations.

“That’s just not how these things work,” Levitt said.

A 2020 State Department report estimated that Iran gives Hamas about $100 million a year.

According to former officials and analysts, Iran has also provided technology that has allowed Hamas to build up its own rocket arsenal in Gaza, which is based on past Iranian blueprints.

During its most recent war with Israel, which lasted for eleven days in 2021, Hamas fired four thousand rockets. With 2,500 rockets fired on Saturday, it appears to have an even larger arsenal.

According to The New York Times, Hamas also utilized drones to attack military surveillance towers, which made it impossible for soldiers to monitor the border.

The terrorist group disrupted cellular transmission stations, which restricted communications.

For the purpose of “puncturing Israel’s sense of deterrence and security and then negotiating over hostages and drawing them into a land war on your turf,” Levitt claimed that Hamas concentrated on swarming multiple entry points on Israel’s border.

They reportedly did so by posting videos of the incursion while waving flags, carrying territory for as long as possible, and kidnapping and killing Israelis aimlessly.

“A lot of what Hamas is firing on Israel is based on Iranian technology, but it’s not necessarily Iranian-manufactured per se,” said Kenneth Katzman, a senior fellow at the Soufan Center, a nonprofit group focusing on global security issues and a former senior analyst with the Congressional Research Service. “Iran was transferring technology to Hamas for a very long time.”

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