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Hamas and Iran: More than an understanding, not quite a complete alliance

23 6 0
17.01.2020

The Palestinians and Iranians are still reading the consequences of the US assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force on Iraqi soil, in early January. This occurred amid great interaction, especially Hamas and Iran, as the movement used this event to try to restore its relationship with Tehran, which has been somewhat lukewarm in recent years.

The head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, visited Tehran, with a high-level leadership delegation. This is his first visit to Tehran since 2012, thus giving the current visit exceptional importance. Haniyeh’s visit indeed came in the form of protocol participation in Soleimani’s funeral. Still, his appearance in the ceremonies was noted, as he was the only non-Iranian figure who spoke during the service, which carried important indications from Iran.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh informs Hanna Nasser, head of the Palestinian Central Election Commission, that Hamas agrees to the plan for holding Palestinian elections [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh informs Hanna Nasser, head of the Palestinian Central Election Commission, that Hamas agrees to the plan for holding Palestinian elections [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Moreover, Haniyeh called Soleimani a “martyr of Jerusalem, which caused intense controversy and debate, even within Hamas itself.

In addition to this, Haniyeh visited Soleimani’s home in Tehran to pay his respects to his family, and Soleimani’s daughter mentioned Haniyeh in her speech at her father’s memorial, as being capable of avenging her father. Haniyeh and the Hamas leadership held their visit meeting with the new commander of the Qods Force, Esmail Qa’ani, Soleimani’s successor.

While Haniyeh telephoned the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, offer his condolences for Soleimani’s killing, Haniyeh’s deputy, Salih Al-Arouri, visited the Iranian ambassador in Beirut to console him, and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas, organised condolences tents for Soleimani.

Read: Israel concerned of Hamas victory if Abbas dies

All of this involvement on Hamas’s part in a purely Iranian matter would prompt realistic political analysis and say that the issue goes beyond condolences and paying respect. Hamas desires to turn a new leaf on the lukewarm relations with Tehran, which began with the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, and which gradually started to recover in 2017.

More dangerous than all of the aforementioned indications is the new unprecedented development in the history of Hamas’s relations with Iran, represented by the Iranian Aerospace force commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, holding a press conference to explain the details of the Iranian attack on the American base in Ayn Al-Assad in........

© Middle East Monitor