TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Wednesday the October attacks on Israel by Tehran-backed Hamas were in part a retaliation of the US killing in 2020 of a top Iranian commander.

The Palestinian armed group rejected earlier remarks by a Guards spokesman appearing to suggest that a key motivation for the October 7 attacks was to avenge Qasem Soleimani’s death on Iran’s behalf.

Hamas’s unprecedented attack on Israel resulted in the death of about 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Israel responded with a withering offensive that has killed more than 21,100 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

Iran, which supports Hamas financially and militarily, has hailed the deadly attacks as a “success” but denied any direct involvement.

“Undoubtedly, part of the great historic victory... is due to the efforts of General Qasem Soleimani,” Ramezan Sharif, spokesman for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said of the Hamas attacks.

Soleimani, the former commander of the Quds Force, the IRGC’s foreign operations arm, was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.

“One can consider the (Hamas) operation’s success as part of the resistance’s revenge against his cowardly assassination,” Sharif was quoted by as saying Fars news agency.

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