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IDF Reveals Iranian Involvement in Training Hamas for Precision Weapons

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) disclosed on Sunday substantial evidence pointing to Iranian assistance in training Hamas to manufacture and deploy precision rockets and strategic weaponry. The revelation coincides with the recent IDF takeover of a key strategic tunnel in northern Gaza, highlighting a direct correlation between the timing of the announcement and this significant operation.

Iranian Influence

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The IDF’s intelligence apparatus has acquired concrete evidence suggesting Iranian involvement in instructing Hamas on the production and firing of precision rockets. The operation included a thorough analysis of long-range weaponry and other items discovered within the seized tunnel.

Indicators of Iranian Guidance

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While the IDF refrained from specifying explicit signs of Iranian training, past instances have seen weapons marked with Iranian symbols or Persian inscriptions. Recovered guidebooks or messages from devices linked to the Islamic Republic have also contributed to establishing such connections.

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Funding and Support from Tehran

Credit: Hamas holds military parade to remember Israel’s 2014 offensive. July 20, 2022, Gaza Strip, Palestine: Brigadiers from Al-Qassam, the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas — Photo by thenews2.com

Israeli intelligence, emphasizing that Hamas couldn’t have executed the October 7 surprise attack independently, contends that the group has received general funding, logistics support, and training from Tehran over the years. The recent findings provide more direct evidence of Iranian involvement than previous statements.

Tunnel Discovery Challenges

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The weapons systems were uncovered after navigating 100 meters of tunnel space, a location flagged by Israeli intelligence for deeper scrutiny. Notably, Hamas forces in this area put up a stronger resistance compared to their typical hit-and-run tactics, involving face-to-face clashes.

Aerial Support and Engagement

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Drones and helicopters played a crucial role in assisting the IDF Nahal land forces during the intense battle. The operation in Daraj Tuffah, considered the last Hamas stronghold in northern Gaza, faced robust opposition from the terror group.

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Nahal Commander’s Statement

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Colonel Yair Zuckerman, Nahal Commander, affirmed the encounter with enemy cells, terror infrastructure, and defensive measures in Daraj Tuffah. The area, marked by defensive tunnels and rocket platforms, posed significant challenges during the operation.

Fall of Previous Strongholds

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Daraj Tuffah was identified as the last Hamas stronghold in northern Gaza following the fall of Jablia on December 19 and the majority of Gaza City in mid-November. Nahal forces, led by Colonel Yair Zuckerman since October 7, faced substantial resistance.

Two-Stage Invasion

Credit: Dubbed “Martyrs are tidings of victory,” the military manoeuvre included launching heavy long-term missiles toward the Gaza Sea, simulating face-to-face fighting between the Palestinian militants and Israeli army forces on the ground. [Getty]

The invasion of Daraj Tuffah unfolded in two stages over approximately two weeks. The initial phase saw heavy, organized attacks by Hamas forces, while the latter phase witnessed increased use of hit-and-run tactics from underground locations.

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Targeting Rocket Firing Platforms

Credit: GAZA STRIP – JANUARY 16: The first Israeli troops leaving Gaza Strip after Cast Lead operation on January 16 2009. It was a three-week armed conflict in the Gaza Strip during the winter of 2008-2009. — Photo by lucidwaters

Over Friday and Saturday, the IDF targeted an area where Hamas had established 30 platforms for firing rockets. The strikes aimed at locations from which rockets had been launched on Ashkelon and Ashdod. Palestinian media reported casualties, including the son of the head of Al Jazeera in Gaza.

Hamas Casualty Claims

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Hamas-affiliated Gaza reports claimed that the IDF’s actions led to the death toll nearing 23,000 Palestinians. The figures do not differentiate between civilians and fighters.

Ongoing Rocket Threats

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Rockets from Hamas in Gaza continued to target Israel’s south on Sunday, albeit in reduced quantities. Simultaneously, Hezbollah fired around 15 rockets from Lebanon into Israel, resulting in hits near Mount Hermon and Metulla.

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Hezbollah Escalation

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Hezbollah escalated its attacks on sensitive installations near Mount Hermon on Saturday, responding to a month of IDF escalatory actions. Alleged Israeli involvement in the killing of Hamas Deputy Chief Saleh al-Arouri further fueled tensions between the two parties.

IDF Response to Hezbollah

Credit: Bucharest, Romania – October 18, 2018: Teams at EU Module Exercises “EU ModEX 2018” urban search and rescue civil protection exercise. This image is for editorial use only. — Photo by llcv

In response to Hezbollah’s rocket attacks, the IDF did not engage air defenses as no civilians were in proximity. The IDF retaliated by targeting the sources of the rockets in Lebanon, marking a continuation of heightened tensions in the region.

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