The Hamas terror organization this week declared that “the countdown to another confrontation with Israel has begun.” In a separate statement, Gaza’s rulers recently encouraged Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank to “escalate the resistance [sic] against the Zionist enemy” using “all tools and forms.” Following Hamas’ call to arms, multiple terror attacks rocked the holy city, including one that left an Israeli tour guide dead.

The flare-up comes as Iran and world powers are expected to return to the negotiating table with the goal of reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran Deal. Israel and Gulf countries vehemently oppose the nuclear agreement for several reasons, one being that it does not address Tehran’s widely-documented support for terrorist organizations across the region, including Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Over the last few years, the Islamic Republic has been the largest provider of money and arms to the terror group’s so-called military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Additionally, it funds Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the PFLP, all with a view to advancing its quest for regional hegemony. Nevertheless, when Tehran’s proxies go to war with the Jewish state, news consumers are often left with the impression that an Israeli move “triggered” the “outbreak of violence.”

Yet, as Middle East analyst Jonathan Schanzer notes in his book Gaza Conflict 2021, “the preparations for conflict against Israel are constant, and usually with help from state sponsors. There is rarely one single spark that ignites a conflict. There is no single point of failure – except, perhaps, in the reporting that follows.” [emphasis added]

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Indeed, the world’s leading news outlets persist in propagating what Schanzer calls the “single-spark fiction,” while at the same time neglecting to mention Iran’s nefarious role in inflaming tensions.

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During May’s conflict between Gaza Strip-based terrorist groups and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), over one-third of all articles in major publications (e.g., CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian) explicitly blamed the escalation on Israel’s response to violent Palestinian riots at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and the decades-long property dispute in the nearby neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik. While this shallow, Hamas-promoted narrative was thoroughly debunked during and after the hostilities, it continues to dominate the conversation surrounding the war (see, for example, here and here).

As recently as this week, journalists asserted that the Sheikh Jarrah court case “exploded into armed conflict in and around Gaza in May” (AFP). Not only does this reporting tacitly exonerate Hamas of responsibility for firing the first missiles at Israel’s capital on May 10, but it also fails to present the reader with the full picture regarding Iran’s involvement.

Just over five percent of the articles produced during the most recent round of fighting noted that the Palestinian terror groups committed to Israel’s destruction are, in fact, simultaneously fighting a proxy war on Iran’s behalf. Virtually no foreign news organizations connected the dots when on May 7, the security situation quickly deteriorated as Palestinians marked Quds [Arabic for Jerusalem] Day. Held yearly on the last Friday of Ramadan, it was initiated in 1979 by then-Iranian supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini.

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Furthermore, during the conflict, the mullah regime made no efforts to hide its support for the overt war crimes committed by Hamas, PIJ and other terror groups. Esmail Qaani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, in a phone call reportedly assured Hamas “of the Islamic Republic’s continued support in the battle against the Zionist enemy.” On the second day of the war, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Twitter urged Palestinians to “continue this path” and “confront the enemy.”

Within hours of Khamenei’s encouraging words, PIJ thanked “the Axis of Resistance, headed by the Islamic Republic in Iran, which has been generous with us in every aspect.” Analysts pointed out that some of the rockets fired at Israel were undoubtedly of Iranian origin. “The available information indicates an Iranian role in the Badr-3 development that goes far beyond mere technical or financial assistance,” The Wall Street Journal — to its credit — quoted a missile expert as saying.

After a ceasefire agreement came into effect on May 21, Iran’s Supreme Leader again took to Twitter, writing that “Iran realized Palestinian fighters’ only problem was lack of access to weapons.” Khamenei boasted that “with divine guidance [and] assistance, we planned [and] the balance of power has been transformed in Palestine [sic].”

A pro-Hezbollah journalist days later alleged that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah and Hamas had set up a joint operations center in Beirut. According to Ibrahim Al-Amine, Quds Force Commander Qaani visited the war room twice during the 11-day conflict. This month, The Jerusalem Post published evidence that Iran also assisted Hamas and PIJ with producing anti-Israel propaganda throughout the fighting.

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Finally, newly minted Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on his first full day in office hosted Hamas, PIJ and the PFLP in Tehran and offered his continued support.

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As Hamas is pushing for a new confrontation with Israel, its intimate relationship with Iran is again conspicuously absent from the media discourse. This, even though the Biden Administration is seeking to re-enter a deal that would involve significant sanctions relief for the largest sponsor of worldwide terrorism. Seemingly, no news outlet is willing to ask the pertinent question: will a renegotiated Iran Deal further empower genocidal US-designated terror groups like Hamas and PIJ?

Perhaps the answer is found in statements by Iranian officials, who recently reiterated (see here and here) the Islamic Republic’s commitment to “erasing the Zionist regime from the map” by utilizing its terror proxies “from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.”

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Featured Image: Photo by Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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