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January 28, 2016 12:44 pm

Report: Hezbollah Wooing Hamas to Lebanon for Meetings With Iranian Officials

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Mousa Abu Marzook, head of Hamas' political branch. Photo: Wikipedia.

Mousa Abu Marzook, deputy head of Hamas’ political branch. Photo: Wikipedia.

Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general has invited a Hamas leader to Beirut to meet with Iranian officials, including members of the Revolutionary Guards, “for talks aimed at improving ties,” London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Alawsat reported on Thursday.

Palestinian sources told the newspaper that the deputy chairman of Hamas’ so-called “Political Bureau,” Mousa Abu Marzook, would likely accept the invitation, although no date has been set yet for the meeting.

According to the report, the Hamas representative would probably tell the Iranians his group was interested only in “unconditional financial support,” especially after ties between Hamas and Iran frayed when the Gaza-based Sunni group exited Syria and refused to back Syrian President Bashar Assad in his fight against the Sunni opposition.

The meeting will reportedly happen after the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks scheduled to take place in the Qatari capital of Doha in early February. Gaza-ruling Hamas and the Palestinian Authority-dominating Fatah have tried for several years to mend fences in order to pave the way for national Palestinian elections, which last happened in 2006.

Abu Marzook was apparently chosen by Hezbollah because he has enjoyed close relations with officials from Tehran in the past, before the group pulled out of Syria in 2012, just a year after the conflict there began.

According to reports, Hamas rejected recent Iranian overtures for increased financial assistance this month, because Iran predicated the aid on backing Tehran in its conflict with Saudi Arabia, following Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in early January.

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