A senior Hamas official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Israel Hayom on Tuesday that the rocket which scored a direct hit on a home in the town of Mishmeret on Monday, injuring seven Israelis, had been fired at the urging of Tehran.
The Hamas official claimed that Iran had “gone over the heads” of Hamas’ leadership, directly ordering a cell operating out of the Gaza Strip to carry out the attack. The cell has been identified as part of the Islamic Jihad organization, a rival terrorist group which operates in the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria.
While senior officials in both Egypt and Gaza confirmed that Iran had ordered the attack, they claimed that Hamas’ leadership was aware of the plans to fire a rocket deep into Israeli territory – a major escalation of the conflict between Gaza and the Jewish state – adding that Hamas leaders even gave their blessing to the attack.
The senior Hamas official who spoke with Israel Hayom said that while the directive to launch the attack came from Tehran, Hamas also hoped the sudden escalation could help drive Netanyahu from office by harming his chances of winning reelection in next month’s Knesset election.
“In Gaza, it is believed that Israel won’t launch a major operation in Gaza two weeks before the elections,” the official said.