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"Iran directly aided Hamas before attack...still helping with intelligence": Israel

Tel Aviv : In a major development, Israel has alleged that Iran "directly aided" Hamas ahead of the terror attack on October 7 and is still helping the terror group with intelligence and incitement, Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.

"Iran directly aided Hamas before the war, with training, supplying weapons, money, and technological know-how," IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a press conference on Wednesday.

He added, "Even now, Iranian aid to Hamas in the form of intelligence and online incitement against the State of Israel continues".
"Around the world, the proxies are working, from Yemen, Lebanon--instructions come from one place--Iran," he added.
In response to new US deployments in the Middle East, Hagari said they reflect the fact that Iran and its proxies are destabilizing the region.

The Israeli Air Force had conducted wide-scale airstrikes in Gaza over the past few hours, the IDF said on Wednesday morning. Among the targets hit were Hamas tunnel shafts, military headquarters, weapons warehouses, mortar launchers and anti-tank missile launchers, according to the military, TPS reported.
The commander of Hamas's Khan Younis Battalion, Tayseer Mubasher, a former head of the Hamas naval force, was also killed, according to Hagari. Mubasher had planned strategic terror attacks against Israel and was the main Hamas commander in the Khan Younis sector, he added.

The IDF struck several Hamas' emergency operational apparatus, including war rooms, infrastructure and military headquarters overnight on Tuesday.
"Hamas' emergency operational apparatus was responsible for setting up blockades that prevented Gazans from evacuating to safer areas in the southern Gaza Strip," the IDF stated.
It added, "Additionally, the IDF struck military infrastructure and command centres of Hamas' security apparatus, which is responsible for overseeing the terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip and arresting and imprisoning Hamas's opponents".

The IDF spokesman further reiterated Israel's call for Gaza residents to flee to the south.

"Hamas use schools and hospitals, they hide there. Gazan citizens, don't let them exploit you. Head south. We are setting up broad humanitarian aid with Egypt and the United States, bringing in food, water. When the war ends, the population can return," TPS quoted Hagari as saying.
Meanwhile, five missile and rocket squads in Lebanon were eliminated by the IDF in the past 24 hours, said Hagari.

Earlier on Tuesday, the IDF targeted three terrorist cells in the border area.
Two cells responsible for rocket and mortar attacks on IDF posts in the area of Netu'a and Elkosh in northern Israeli were hit by an Israeli drone. The third cell was hit by Israeli forces as it attempted to launch anti-tank missiles at Israeli territory adjacent to Kibbutz Yiftach, TPS reported.

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