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October 24, 2017 1:32 pm

Hamas Will ‘Never’ Recognize Israel, Deputy Head Says During Official Visit to Iran

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Hamas deputy leader Saleh el-Arouri (r) greets Iranian minister Kamal Kharrazi in Tehran. Photo: Tasnim News Agency.

The deputy head of the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas has emphasized during a visit to Iran that the terrorist group will “never” abandon its core positions,  most prominently its refusal to recognize the right of the State of Israel to a secure existence.

At a meeting with the head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharrazi, on Monday, leading Hamas official Saleh el-Arouri said the organization “will never agree to lay down arms, recognize the Zionist regime of Israel or sever its ties with the Islamic Republic,” the Tehran regime-aligned news agency Tasnim reported.

Tasnim — which is widely regarded as a mouthpiece for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — said that Kharrazi had “highlighted the Zionists’ conspiracy to foment discord among regional countries by pitting Sunni Muslims against Shia Muslims and said the presence of Hamas officials in Iran is testimony to the failure of the conspiracy.”

Added Kharrazi: “The basis of Iran’s support for the oppressed is their resistance against Zionism, not their being Shia or Sunni.” Hamas is a Sunni organization, while Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi — just two of several paramilitaries in the region backed by Iran — are both Shia groups.

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Arouri’s defiant comments came as a former Israeli defense minister expressed pessimism that the Palestinians would ever have “a leadership that will want to divide the land.”

“I don’t see prospects for an agreement in the foreseeable future,” said Moshe Ya’alon in a speech in Beit Shemesh. “The gap between us is not bridgeable.”

Ya’alon said the Palestinians “have not agreed to any proposal to divide the land.”

“They are not prepared even to accept a state along the 1967 borders and a division of Jerusalem,” he argued. “From their standpoint, that’s just 22 percent of Palestine.”

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