IDF spokesperson on rocket attacks: Iran had 'hands on involvement on the ground'

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Israel Defense Forces (IDF) international spokesman Jonathan Conricus argued on “Fox and Friends Weekend” on Sunday that none of the recent violence in the Middle East “would have been possible without Iranian knowledge, funding, expertise and hands on involvement on the ground.” 

“It’s very clear, Iranian fingerprints are all over the situation in terms of money, knowledge, personnel and energy spent,” Conricus told host Pete Hegseth.

He added that “when the most important countries around the world are thinking about negotiating with Iran, people need to remember [that] the Iranians are the number one exporters of instability and terror and death and destruction in the Middle East and they should be addressed and held accountable as such.”

Israel, late last week, announced that it had come to a cease-fire agreement with Hamas that put an end to 11 days of fighting in which Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian targets, to which Israel responded with airstrikes. 

“Iranian specialists, engineers and people who deal in rocketry and explosives have been educating and telling Hamas engineers how to produce rockets, how to manufacture their own weapons,” Conricus argued on Sunday. “Had it not been for that very specific and detailed Iranian intervention, we wouldn’t have been in the situation now.” 

He also explained that the IDF focused on degrading “these capabilities, both in terms of the locations where they produce the weapons, the rockets and also in terms of the key personnel, the terrorists, the engineers that are behind all of these rockets that have been fired throughout Israel.” 

A United Nations spokesperson for Iran did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

NETANYAHU ADVISER MARK REGEV SAYS HAMAS SHOULD ‘THINK TWICE’ BEFORE BREAKING CEASE-FIRE

Brandishing assault rifles, hundreds of Hamas fighters paraded through the streets of Gaza on Saturday in a defiant claim of victory on the first full day of a cease-fire agreement with Israel. Conricus called it “no surprise.” 

“We knew even on the first day of fighting that no matter how hard we would hit Hamas, they, at the end, like all terrorists do, would declare victory, but I don’t think that’s how they feel today,” Conricus told Hegseth.

“I think that there’s probably a lot of reckoning, a lot of different after-action reviews that Hamas, their seniors, have to make because as they now come up from the tunnels that they hid in during these 11 days of fighting and meet the civilians that they are responsible for, they now see the magnitude of the destruction of their military infrastructure and they have to face the anger of the civilians in terms of what happened to the Gaza Strip and what they, Hamas leaders, brought upon Gaza … for the first time since 2008.” 

He added, “I think as the days will pass, we will see what kind of damage and how many military casualties Hamas and the other terrorists sustained and according to our estimate, it is not an insignificant number, we’re talking about a lot of dead terrorists.” 

The fighting resulted in more than 200 deaths, mainly in Gaza. 

Palestinian officials estimate reconstruction will cost tens of millions of dollars, Reuters reported, adding that economists said the fighting could have hampered Israel’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s not clear how long the cease-fire could hold, with both sides saying they will only “hold fire” as long as the other side does. Israeli offensive and defensive capacity are still in solid shape. And Hamas is reportedly still boasting thousands of rockets in its now-battered Gaza arsenals.

Speaking from Tel Aviv, Conricus had this message to Americans on Sunday: “Do not reward Hamas with a prize. Do not get confused with what happened on the ground, who started this, and do not forget which country is a democracy, which country is fighting against an evil jihadi terrorist organization and don’t forget who is firing deliberately at civilians, all of those bad things are done by Hamas.”

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“We’re defending ourselves,” Conricus stressed. “We’re using the latest and best American weapons to do so and we are very happy with our capability to target those terrorists.”

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report. 

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