The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force coordinated with the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations to launch rockets at Israel from Lebanon during the Passover holiday, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Quds Force commander Esmail Qaani began mobilizing allies across the Middle East to launch a new wave of attacks on Israeli targets and held secret meetings with military leaders throughout the region, the report noted.
34 rockets were launched into Israeli territory during the holiday in what was the heaviest barrage to northern Israel since the Second Lebanon War.
At the beginning of Ramadan, Kaani held meetings in Syria with the heads of Palestinian terrorist organizations to discuss a possible coordinated attack on Israel. The commander of the Quds Force claimed that Iran obtained information about Israel's plans against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Syria and Lebanon.
Last week, the Quds Force commander held a series of meetings in Lebanon, during which he met with the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad at the Iranian embassy in Beirut. At the same time as the meeting, according to the report, a barrage of rockets was fired at settlements in the Galilee.
It was also reported that Kaani urged them to act quickly and said that Iran would provide the necessary tools to carry out the attacks in order to deter Israel from carrying out its own attacks. On April 3, Revolutionary Guards advisers landed in Beirut to plan an attack on Israel.
Kaani said it was important to attack Israeli targets in response to attacks attributed to Israel in Syria. American officials were also on alert in the days after Kaani's meetings, after obtaining intelligence that Iran was ready to carry out a drone attack on a commercial ship in the Middle East.
As part of its campaign against Israel, Iran has also carried out at least four drone strikes on commercial ships in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea over the past two years, the most recent one last February, US and Israeli officials have said. Previous drone strikes have attempted to hit ships affiliated with Israel. In response, the US Navy took an unusual step and announced the arrival of a submarine in the Red Sea carrying cruise missiles capable of hitting Iran. However, officials in the US administration claimed that the fear of an attack was diminishing.
Among Tehran's main goals is to prevent its neighbors from establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. Over the past two years, Iran has publicly warned them against participating in US-backed efforts to create a regional alliance to isolate Iran. Saudi Arabia's surprise agreement to renew diplomatic ties with Iran was a significant blow to Israel's foreign policy goal of normalizing relations with Riyadh.
Iranian officials said the latest Israeli strikes in Syria killed several military advisers to the Revolutionary Guards, including a close advisor. The rocket barrage on Israel during the Passover holiday was in response to the killing of two IRGC officers in Syria, Ynet reported citing the Journal.
Pentagon papers leak revealed Israel conducted air exercise for possible future attack
A US intelligence official stated in a document that was among the leaked Pentagon papers stated that Israel conducted an air exercise on February 20 that was "apparently intended to simulate an attack on the Iranian nuclear program, possibly in order to show Jerusalem's determination to act against Tehran," according to a report by Ynet.
The document in the report, which was classified as "top secret," stated that "the CIA does not know what Israel's plans are for the near future, and what its intentions are. Israel may wait and see what the reaction of the United States and the international community will be to the IAEA's findings regarding the Iranian nuclear program and whether the Iranian supreme leader will approve uranium enrichment to the level required for nuclear weapons, before deciding whether to act or not."
The report also states that the document mistakes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "President Netanyahu" and also states that he "apparently calculates that Israel will have to attack Iran to deter its nuclear program."