Hamas and Iran Agree to 'Turn a New Leaf', Focus on 'Shared Enemy'

Meeting between head of Hamas' West Bank terror operations and Iranian government officials discussed shared goals, joint statement said

Saleh al-Arouri in Ramallah on March 11, 2007.
Saleh al-Arouri in Ramallah on March 11, 2007. AFP

Following a meeting between top Hamas officials and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday, a joint statement was released saying, "We concluded that it's time to turn a new leaf in order to address our shared enemy."

The delegation of Hamas officials included Saleh al-Arouri, the military commander who oversees West Bank terror cells. He is believed to have orchestrated the kidnapping of three Israeli teens in 2014.

Al-Arouri left Qatar in early June, following requests by Qatari officials that Hamas leadership leave the country. The Qatari decision came after its diplomatic breakdown with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, who accused Qatar of supporting terrorism.

Days later, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that al-Arouri went to Lebanon, to working on strengthen ties between Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which are supported by Iran. Photos of al-Arouri meeting with officials from Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon surfaced earlier this week.