A senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed support for a massive attack launched against Israeli communities by Hamas on Saturday, calling it a “proud operation.”
The Gazan terror group launched an unprecedented assault on Israel in the morning, firing thousands of rockets, sending gunmen into Israeli communities and military bases by land, sea and air, killing at least 200 people, injuring at least 1,400 and taking hostages.
“We support the proud operation,” Yahya Rahim Safavi said at a meeting held in support of Palestinian children in Tehran, quoted by ISNA news agency.
“We support this operation, and we are sure that the resistance front also supports this issue,” said Safavi, who is a senior general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The multi-pronged attack, coming a day after Israel marked the 50th anniversary of the surprise invasion on Yom Kippur, caught the Israeli military and security forces completely by surprise.
Hamas gunmen overran at least one military base and gunmen moved through Israeli border communities, killing and capturing residents, with little resistance from Israeli forces, residents said.
Other clips circulated online have purported to show Israeli civilians taken hostage by the terror group. Arabic media claimed 52 Israelis had been captured. Some of those captured appeared to have been killed.
The military declined to give details about casualties or kidnappings as it continued to battle the infiltrators.
Safavi expressed backing for the Palestinian terrorists “until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani also hailed the Palestinian assault on Israel.
“Today’s operation marked a new page in the field of resistance and armed operations against the occupiers,” he said.
“The resistance has so far achieved brilliant victories during this operation, and this is a bright spot in the history of the Palestinian people’s struggle against the Zionists.”
— Sarah Raviani (@sarahraviani) October 7, 2023
At a parliament session on Saturday, Iranian lawmakers chanted “Down with Israel,” “Down with America,” and “Welcome Palestine,” according to a video published by Tasnim news agency.
Iran, which hosted leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in June, considers Israel its arch-enemy.
The two sides have for years been engaged in a shadow war, with Iran accusing Israel of a series of sabotage attacks and assassinations targeting its nuclear program.
The United States and Israel have previously accused Iran of using drones and missiles to attack US forces and Israel-linked ships in the Gulf.