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October 30, 2017 4:22 pm

Hamas Officials Praise Iranian Rejection of ‘Zionist Presence in Palestine,’ Affirm Continuation of ‘Armed Resistance’

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Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri. Photo: File.

Hamas leaders newly returned from an official visit to Iran have hailed their restored ties with the Tehran regime, praising the Islamic Republic’s “making no secret” of the “exceptional support” it provides to the Palestinian terrorist organization.

In an interview with the Qatari-financed Al Jazeera broadcaster last week, Saleh al Arouri — the deputy head of the Hamas political bureau who led the delegation to Iran — explained, “[I]t is well known that Iran supported the Lebanese resistance, until the Israeli occupation was driven out.”

Iran “supports the resistance in Palestine as well,” al-Arouri said, in remarks translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “They make no secret of this. They give us exceptional support. The resistance is in dire need of this to be able to confront the aggression of the Israeli entity.”

Al-Arouri confirmed that Hamas and Iran share the goal of eliminating the State of Israel. “The Islamic Republic has adopted the Palestinian cause, and it supports the rights of our Palestinian people on their entire land, and it rejects any form of Zionist presence on the land of Palestine,” he said.

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Relations between Hamas and Iran were heavily strained by the war in Syria, but have improved now that the dictatorial rule of  President Bashar al-Assad has been stabilized by Iranian and Russian intervention on his behalf.

In a separate interview with Iranian news agency ISNA, Hamas’ chief spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri remained adamant that the recent reconciliation agreement with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas would not result in the organization abandoning terrorism.

“I assure everyone that, with regard to the current and future situation of the resistance, the national reconciliation will never harm the resistance,” Abu Zuhri said.

Abu Zuhri continued: “In the arena of the fighting, the resistance is very strong, and can inflict heavy blows upon the Zionist enemy. We will invest all our efforts in obtaining all the tools and equipment needed for strength and might, so that we will be able to take back our rights from the enemies.”

While Israel has not cut ties with the PA over its reconciliation with Hamas, the Israeli government insists that the organization formally abandon terrorism and recognize Israel before it can be part of any peace negotiations.

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