The Iranian regime called the political leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah to Tehran last month, to work out the details of an unprecedented series of protests they wanted them to launch along Israel’s border on the anniversary of Israel’s founding in 1948, according to Iranian dissidents.
The meetings were an overwhelming success. Thousands of Palestinians took place in organized protests, storming across mine fields and border fences into Israel from the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and Syria.
Israel troops opened fire on the demonstrators, killing five protestors along the border with Syria and 10 along the border with Lebanon. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were wounded in the clashes.
The meetings last month in Tehran between senior Iranian government officials and Hamas and Hezbollah leaders came to the attention of Iranian dissidents through their sources inside the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
“We initially thought they had come for some kind of military training, but then our people told us it was the political leadership that had come,” said Hossein Zohari, spokesman for the Organization of Iranian People's Fedaii Guerrillas, a left-wing opposition group.
“The Iranians had sent IRGC intelligence officers to Syria and Lebanon to invite these people to Tehran” well before the border clashes. “This shows that Iran was deeply involved in planning and coordinating of these attacks,” Zohari told Newsmax in an interview.
Walid Phares, a Middle East analyst, said the coordination of the attacks was a clear sign of Iranian involvement.
“The three fronts that moved at the same time are all backed by Iranian assets or Iranian allies, Hamas and Hezbollah. Even the Palestinian factions that organized the thrust on the Golan are controlled by Damascus and the Iranian regime. The regional connection of all these forces is the IRGC.”
Phares believes that Iran is desperate to protect Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “If Assad goes down, Iran's reach to Lebanon will be severely restrained. It is a strategic goal for Iran to help Assad by deflecting attention from the uprising inside Syria to a clash with Israel,” he told Newsmax.
Former IRGC officer Reza Kahlili, who worked as a spy for the CIA inside Iran for more than a decade, told Newsmax that the Iranian leadership was seeking to “turn up the heat on every front” in the region.
The border attacks on Sunday “were part of a larger plan to increase the pressure on Israel, protect Syrian president Assad, and to assert Iran’s dominance as the leader of the revolutionary forces in the region,” Kahlili said.
The Iranian regime is “itching for a fight with both Israel and the United States,” Kahlili believes.
Last month, on Iran’s orders, Hamas launched a series of rocket attacks that hit targets deeper in Israel than ever before. “They were trying to provoke an Israel reaction, but the Israelis didn’t respond. The Iranians said that Israel was being ‘besieged by Muslim anger,’” Kahlili said.
Israel’s military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that he saw “fingerprints of Iranian provocation and an attempt to use ‘Naqbah day’ to create conflict.”
The Arab states refer to the founding of the state of Israel as “al-Naqbah,” or “the Catastrophe.” Even the Palestinian Authority, which the United States believes wants to live side by side with the Jewish state — uses the term and sponsors riots to protest Israel’s founding every year.
The Syrian authorities used Palestinians from refugee camps all across the country so they could take part in the demonstrations along the border with Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the military to act with “maximum restraint,” but that Israel would not tolerate further incursions across its border.
In Tehran, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the clashes showed Israel’s real nature. “Like a cancer cell that spreads through the body, this regime infects any region. It must be removed from the body,” he said.
Canadian parliamentarian Irwin Cotler calls such comments “incitement to genocide,” and has introduced legislation in Canada to refer Ahmadinejad to the World Court for violating the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Also today, a flotilla of small ships left the southern Iranian port of Bushehr heading for Bahrain, according to Iranian news reports.
Former IRGC officer Kahlili tells Newsmax that his sources inside the Guards revealed that the Bahrain flotilla was carrying “martyrdom forces,” members of the Guard and its Bassij militia who had been trained to carry out suicide attacks.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in a giant power struggle that is playing itself out all across the region, Kahlili believes. “They are fighting through proxies, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Syria,” he said.
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