Al-Aqsa Flood was a 'fully Palestinian operation', Iran's IRGC says
The 7 October attack by Hamas' military wing "was a fully Palestinian operation" and not orchestrated by Tehran, the commander in chief of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Thursday.
In a speech to the crowd gathered in Tehran, Salami denied the claim that the Al-Aqsa Flood operation carried out by Hamas' Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades had been revenge for the US' assassination of the late General Qasem Soleimani, who led the IRGC's Quds Force.
That claim had reportedly been made by IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramadan Sharif, who had been widely quoted as saying that Hamas' assault on US-backed Israel was in retaliation for the assassination of Soleimani, which took place in 2020.
Hamas has strongly denied such claims, reiterating that it acted upon its own, independent decision.
Salami added that the IRGC spokesman had clarified to him that he had meant that the results of the Al-Aqsa Flood operation acted as vengeance for the death of Soleimani, who Washington assassinated in an airstrike in Baghdad.
He said that the IRGC owns up to its actions in other countries.
"We are honest in our actions and we are a capable country. When we shot down an American drone (2019), we announced it, and we also demonstrated that when we arrested American soldiers (2016 in the Gulf), in addition to targeting the US Ain al-Asad base (2020 in Iraq), and the den of the Zionists," he said, his last example in reference to strikes on a base near Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.
In an exclusive interview with The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on Wednesday, Sharif said that his comments had been "misunderstood".
"I did not suggest that the motive behind the Al-Aqsa Flood was revenge for the blood of General Soleimani", Sharif said, claiming that he had in fact stated that one of the results of the operation was revenge for Soleimani's death.
Al-Qassam Brigades militants launched a large-scale attack on Israel on 7 October, killing more than 1,100 people, according to Israeli figures.
They also took around 250 captives, 129 of whom remain in Gaza, Israel says.
Since the attack, Israel has intensively bombarded Gaza, killing more than 21,000 people.
This article is based on an article that appeared in our Arabic edition by Saber Gul Anbari on 28 December 2023, with additional reporting. To read the original article, click here.