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August 29, 2017 11:47 am

Hamas Leader Says Relations With Iran ‘Fantastic,’ Vows to Liberate ‘Palestine’

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Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar (left), Khalil al-Haya (center) and Ismail Haniyeh (at podium) in Gaza on Feb. 24, 2017. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90. – Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas terror group’s recently elected political leader in Gaza, said on Monday that his organization has fully restored relations with Iran and was making preparations for the next war with Israel.

Iran is now “the largest backer financially and militarily” of Hamas, Sinwar told reporters in his first meeting with the media since assuming his new position. Together with the Iranians, Hamas is building up its military capability and preparing for “the liberation of Palestine,” he said.

Sinwar also emphasized that the recently renewed relations with Iran are “fantastic,” and have returned to the “former era” of close ties between Hamas and the Islamic Republic.

The terror chief’s comments follow Iran’s hosting of a Hamas delegation in Tehran in August. The warming relations come as Hamas faces increasing international isolation and a dispute with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

For years, Iran served as one of Hamas’s main patrons, providing the terror group with financing, training and weapons to attack Israel. When protests broke out against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2011, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal voiced support for Syrian demonstrators. Mashaal eventually closed the terror group’s office in Damascus, relocating to Qatar. As a result, Iran, a strong supporter of the Syrian regime, had cut off its funding of Hamas.

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