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May 24, 2018 4:27 pm

Hamas Leader Acknowledges Iranian Support Amid Fall-Out From Gaza Clashes

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Palestinians riot on the Israel-Gaza Strip border, May 14, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

While many analysts and most of the international community refuses to acknowledge Iran’s role in fueling tensions on Israel’s border with Gaza, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar this week boasted of his organization’s “strong and warm” ties with Iran and Hezbollah.

In an interview on Monday with Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV channel, Sinwar admitted that Iran funnels “a lot of money, equipment, and expertise” to Hamas’ military wing and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations, reports the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI).

For helping Hamas develop its capabilities, Sinwar thanked “first and foremost the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has provided the Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ military wing) and the other factions of the resistance a lot of money, equipment, and expertise,” adding that “our ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, with brother Qasem Soleimani and the other brothers in the IRGC leadership are very strong, powerful, and warm. Our relations with the Islamic Republic are excellent.”

In December, senior Hamas official Saleh Al-Arouri bragged about Hamas’ ties with Iran and Hezbollah, and formally credited the Islamic Republic for arming Palestinian terrorist groups.

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“Who supports the resistance in Gaza and Palestine? Iran. It is Iran and Hezbollah that confront that entity [Israel] along with us,” Al-Arouri said in a December 30 interview on Al-Quds TV.

He admitted that “the aid Iran provides to the resistance is not merely symbolic,” and that “nobody but Iran gives us [Palestinian terrorist groups] any military support.”

In his latest interview, Sinwar also discussed “excellent relations” with Hezbollah, and revealed that both terrorist groups “coordinate and are in touch on an almost daily basis.”

This is the latest in a growing number of statements from senior Hamas and Hezbollah leaders acknowledging that their relations have reached new heights — to the point where Hezbollah is helping Hamas build military infrastructure in south Lebanon to threaten Israel.

These connections and public admissions are always ignored by Israel-bashers in the West.

Prominent American Islamists, like Linda Sarsour, continue to propagate the narrative that Israel massacred peaceful, unarmed Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border in recent weeks. Even articles in respected policy outlets like Foreign Policy parrot this view.

Hamas leaders, on the other hand, openly admit that they coordinated the violent demonstrations, and orchestrated several attacks on the border with Israel.

“This is not peaceful resistance … so when we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public,” Mahmoud al-Zahhar said in a May 13 interview with Al Jazeera, adding that Hamas’ efforts at the border are “bolstered by a military force and by security agencies.”

Iran and its main proxy Hezbollah are actively supplying Hamas with weapons and talking on a near daily basis to coordinate terrorist operations against the Jewish state.

This nuance is largely omitted from mainstream media analyses — further promoting Hamas’ public deception campaign, knowingly or not.

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