As the Israel-Hamas war nears the three-month mark, a new controversy behind the ‘real’ reason for Hamas’s attack on Israel has started brewing.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a multi-service primary branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, on Wednesday (Dec 27) claimed that the attack was retribution for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani. However, denying this, the militant group Hamas reiterated its previous claims that the October 7 attack was a response to what it called the “occupation” and “ongoing aggression against our people and the holy places”.

These narratives come amid a climbing death toll in Gaza and international pressure for a ceasefire. On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron also demanded a “lasting ceasefire” in Gaza. As per Macron’s office, the leader made this demand during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“France will work in the coming days in cooperation with Jordan to carry out humanitarian operations in Gaza,” said the French presidency in a statement.
Is Soleimani’s killing the reason?

In his remarks regarding the Monday (Dec 25) killing of Brig. Gen. Razi Mousavi by an Israeli airstrike in Syria, IRGC spokesman Ramazan Sharif made the connection between Hamas’ attack and the killing of Soleimani.

He said that the October attack was “one of the revenge” for the slaying, as reported by The Times of Israel.

Sharif also said that the IRGC was ‘well aware’ of the reasons behind the recent killing of Mousavi. However, the IRGC spokesperson stressed that the killing would not affect the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps campaign “against the Zionist entity”.

“We will respond accordingly, directly or indirectly, through the resistance axis,” he added.

Calling the killing an “act of terror”, the organisation also vowed that the revenge “will be decisive at the right time and place”. Previously, Iranian officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, have also vowed revenge for Mousavi’s death.
Hamas denies IRGC claims

Swiftly denying Iran’s claims, the Palestinian militant group Hamas reiterated that “all Palestinian resistance actions” were in response to the “occupation and its ongoing aggression against our people and the holy places.”

On October 7, Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif said in a recorded message that the attack dubbed “Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge” was launched in retaliation for Israel’s “desecration” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He had also claimed that the action was a follow-up of previous warnings by the group.
Who was Soleimani?

In 2020, IRGC Quds Force head Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. At the time of his death, he was considered the second-most powerful person in Iran, only subordinate to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Razi Mousavi was one of his close associates.

Source » wionews