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Iran gave Hamas terrorists ‘final go-ahead’, Israel launches ‘complete siege’ on Gaza

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On Monday morning, the Israeli military launched a “complete siege” of Gaza. “We are fighting barbarians and will respond accordingly” said Israel Defense Minister Yoa Gallant who ordered the “complete siege” in a televised addressed. He also announced Gaza will be cut off from food, electricity and water for the foreseeable future.

Iranian security officials helped the Palestinina terror group Hamas plan its Saturday sneak attack on Israel — and gave the final go-ahead at a meeting last Monday in Beirut, an explosive new report says.

Officers from Iran’s infamous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had been working with the Gaza Strip-based terrorist organization since August to plan the Oct. 7 attack, which sent thousands of rockets and groups of armed gunmen over the fortified Israeli border, killing more than 700, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The attack was the most serious breach of the Jewish state since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Iranian officers — as well as reps from Iran-backed militant groups including Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah — refined tactical and strategic plans for the assault during several meetings in Beirut, according to the Journal, which cited senior members of both terrorist groups.

The IDF has retaken control of all towns on the Gaza border, but ground forces are still combatting scattered Hamas terrorists, chief Israeli military spokesperson Rear-Admiral Daniel Hagari said Monday.

Israel has called up a record 300,000 reservists to serve in the fight, which has so far stopped short of a full ground incursion into Gaza.

Hamas terrorists poured across the Gaza border early Saturday, killing nearly 700 Israelis, including women and children, and torturing and raping civilians in the streets. Videos posted to social media also showed the terrorists parading dead bodies in the streets.

As part of the surprise assault, Hamas encircled a desert music festival by the Gaza border and sprayed hundreds of Israeli youth with bullets. Israel’s search and rescue team later recovered 260 bodies from the site.

 

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Israel

Military was prepared to deploy to Gaza to rescue U.S. hostages

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The Washington Post released an in-depth report on the intelligence support the United States has provided Israel during its war with Hamas. The assistance has not only helped to find and rescue hostages, but the Post writes it has “also raised concerns about the use of sensitive information.”

The United States provided some of the intelligence used to locate and eventually rescue four Israeli hostages last week, The Post has reported. The information, which included overhead imagery, appears to have been secondary to what Israel collected on its own ahead of the operation, which resulted in the deaths of more than 270 Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials, making it one of the deadliest single events in the eight-month-old war.

Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, stressed that U.S. forces did not participate in the mission to rescue the four hostages. “There were no U.S. forces, no U.S. boots on the ground involved in this operation. We did not participate militarily in this operation,” Sullivan told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. He noted that “we have generally provided support to the [Israel Defense Forces] so that we can try to get all of the hostages home, including the American hostages who are still being held.”

One critical piece of information from The Post involves a “canceled” U.S. mission to rescue eight Americans:

In October, JSOC forces in the region were prepared to deploy in Gaza to rescue U.S. citizens that Hamas was holding, said current and former U.S. officials familiar with planning for what would have been an exceptionally dangerous mission.

“If we managed to unilaterally get information that we could act on, and we thought we could actually get U.S. people out alive, we could act, but there was genuinely very little information specifically about U.S. hostages,” one official said.

However, the intelligence-sharing relationship between the United States and Israel is not without scrutiny and concern. The Post reports:

In interviews, Israeli officials said they were grateful for the U.S. assistance, which in some cases has given the Israelis unique capabilities they lacked before Hamas’s surprise cross-border attacks. But they also were defensive about their own spying prowess, insisting that the United States was, for the most part, not giving them anything they couldn’t obtain themselves. That position can be hard to square with the obvious failures of the Israeli intelligence apparatus to detect and respond to the warning signs of Hamas’s planning.

The U.S.-Israel partnership is, at times, tense. Some U.S. officials have been frustrated by Israel’s demand for more intelligence, which they said is insatiable and occasionally relies on flawed assumptions that the United States might be holding back some information.

In a briefing with reporters at the White House last month, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington “has provided an intense range of assets and capabilities and expertise.” Responding to a May 11 Washington Post report, Sullivan said that the intelligence is “not tied or conditioned on anything else. It is not limited. We are not holding anything back. We are providing every asset, every tool, every capability,” Sullivan said.

Other officials, including lawmakers on Capitol Hill, worry that intelligence the United States provides could be making its way into the repositories of data that Israeli military forces use to conduct airstrikes or other military operations, and that Washington has no effective means of monitoring how Israel uses the U.S. information.

The Biden administration has forbidden Israel from using any U.S.-supplied intelligence to target regular Hamas fighters in military operations. The intelligence is only to be used for locating the hostages, eight of whom have U.S. citizenship, as well as the top leadership of Hamas — including Yehiya Sinwar, the alleged architect of the Oct. 7 attacks, and Mohammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’s military wing. The State Department in 2015 designated both men as terrorists. Three of the eight U.S. hostages have been confirmed dead, and their bodies are still being held in Gaza, according to Israeli officials.

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