Israeli media reported last month that a Hamas delegation, including a US designated terrorist and one of the group’s military leaders, had arrived in Tehran for discussions on Palestinian “unity.” According to the Times of Israel report:
A high-ranking Hamas delegation began a visit to Iran on Friday to inform its backers in Tehran about reconciliation efforts with rival Palestinian faction Fatah, an official from the terror group said.
The group led by deputy chief Salah al-Arouri will meet senior Iranian officials over the next several days, the representative said on condition of anonymity, after Israel insisted it will not recognize any unity Palestinian government unless Hamas cuts off ties with Tehran.
The two Palestinians factions have agreed a landmark deal to end a decade-long split and are seeking to form a unity government along with other parties.
Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 with Iranian backing, but is expected to hand it over to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.
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In August 2014 the GMBDW was the first to report that Salah al-Arouri, a Hamas military leader then residing in Turkey, had admitted that the Hamas military wing was responsible for the kidnapping, an event which sparked another round of the Gaza conflict. In June 2015, we reported that the US had designated al-Arouri as a terrorist and said he was responsible for Hamas money transfers.
Hamas and Iran have a long and tumultuous history. In October 2016, the GMBDW was reporting that Iran was once again “courting” Hamas in an attempt to improve its relationship with the Global Muslim Brotherhood among other things. Other relevant reporting has included:
- In June 2017, we reported that a Hamas delegation was soon travel to Tehran in what appeared to be the latest development in the Gulf nation boycott of Qatar.
- In January 2017, we reported on a new Forbes survey that listed Hamas as the second richest terror group in the world with finances of around $1 billion.
- In February 2016, we had reported on what we described as the ever increasing ups and downs in the relationship between Iran and Hamas when a senior Hamas official said that Iran is lying about its funding of the organization.
- In January 2016, we recommended a report by the Israeli Rubin Center that looked at some of the relationships between Iran and the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
- The GMBDW reported in August 2015 that according to unidentified sources, Iran was deeply angered at a visit by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s to Saudi Arabia. We reported earlier that month that according to a Hamas official, Iranian aid to Hamas had “drastically decreased.”