Initial US intelligence shows Hamas attack surprised Iranian leaders, NY Times reports
PHOTO CAPTION: Rockets are fired from Gaza towards Israel, in Gaza, October 10, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has collected intelligence showing that key Iranian leaders were surprised by the unprecedented attacks on Israel by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Israel, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing American officials.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday that the U.S. did not have confirmation of an Iranian link to the attack.
"We are talking to our Israeli counterparts on a daily basis about this question. We are looking back through our intelligence holdings to see if we have any further information on that," he said.
Hamas, an Iranian-backed group, launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, killing hundreds of Israelis and seizing dozens of hostages. Israel's death toll rose to 1,200 with over 2,700 wounded, its military said, from the militants' hours-long rampage after breaching the border fence enclosing Gaza on Saturday.
Israel subsequently battered Palestinians with air strikes in Gaza. The retaliatory strikes on the blockaded enclave have killed 1,055 people and wounded 5,184, Palestinian officials say. The U.N. said nine staffers working for the Palestinian refugee agency were among the dead.
(Reporting by Jasper Ward; Editing by Howard Goller)