Missile attacks launched at Israel by Hamas militants in Gaza this week may be part of a plan masterminded by Iran, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

The article, published on May 12, said the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, had warned last week that Israel was vulnerable to large strategic operations because the country was small.

The report added that the attacks appeared in part to be testing Israel’s new Iron Dome defense system, and that militia groups responsible for firing the rockets into Israel were part of Iran’s proxy network, including Hamas, which receives military weapons from Iran.

The attacks have escalated following the assassination of several senior commanders in Gaza by Israel’s Defense Forces, leading to the deaths of at least 65 people in Gaza and seven people in Israel. World leaders have called for Israel and Gaza to step back from the conflict after warning the fighting could lead to a regional war.

The UN’s atomic watchdog said Iran’s government had enriched uranium to up to 63% purity rather than the 60% previously suggested, which the oversight body said was due to fluctuations at Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz.

Iran’s government made the increase in response to an explosion at the nuclear plant, which it blamed on Israel. The move destabilized nuclear deal talks in Vienna between Tehran and Washington, which seek to bring all parties back into compliance with the terms set out in a 2015 agreement.

And the Committee to Protect Journalists urged Iran to stop imprisoning and harassing Kurdish journalists in a statement published on May 12, which said that  Iranian authorities had arrested at least eight Kurdish journalists since May 2020.

Human rights groups said the ongoing discrimination in Iran against its Kurdish minority community amounted to an ethnically motivated crackdown and that at least 96 members of the community had been arrested since the beginning of the year, including civil society activists, environmentalists, writers, university students, and individuals with no known history of activism.

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