Iran Official Tells Hamas Daily: Willing to Arm West Bank Palestinians Too

Iran-Hamas relations on the mend as head of Iranian Parliament's Palestine Commission calls Hamas 'front line' of Palestinian resistance against Israel.

Amira Hass
Amira Hass
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Hamas supporters during a rally in Gaza last August.
Hamas supporters during a rally in Gaza last August.Credit: Reuters
Amira Hass
Amira Hass

Iran is willing to arm Palestinians in the West Bank, in addition to Hamas elements in the Gaza Strip, an official in Tehran told a Hamas news website over the weekend.

Nasser Al Sudani, head of the Iranian Parliament's Palestine committee, told alresalah.net – a known Hamas mouthpiece - in an interview published Saturday night.

Al Sudana told the website that even during the recent chill in relations between Tehran and Hamas over the latter's support of the Syrian opposition Iran had not ceased its military aid to Gaza. Now, the Islamic Republic intends to bolster those relations with monetary aid as well, says Al Sudani, and a visit by Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal to Tehran in the near future will be aimed at shoring up relations as well.

This article symbolizes the latest move in a series of actions aimed at repairing relations between Iran and Hamas. During the military parade held last Sunday, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida thanked Iran for the military and financial support it has bestowed over the years. Hamas' representative in Lebanon, Ali Barakeh, said on Friday to the Turkish news agency Anadolu that a visit by Hamas representatives to Tehran roughly two weeks ago, meant to prepare the ground for Meshal's visit, signified "a clean slate" in Hamas-Iran relations. Mousa Abu Marzouk also recently told Reuters in Gaza that he "believes Hamas-Iran relations are back on track."

According to the article on Al Resalah, Al Sudani said that Iran considers Hamas to be the "front line" in the struggle against Israel. "Destroying Israel will only be possible by arming Palestinians, including in the occupied West Bank," said Al Sudani, adding that his country will stand beside the "Palestinian resistance," despite Israeli threats of attack.

Al Sudani also said that if asked, his nation is ready to mediate between Egypt and Hamas. The Al Resalah reporter's article includes a slight Freudian slip, in regards to the mediation offer, as he writes that the offer was made "to remove the ease the tension between the two states," revealing that he identifies Hamas as the governing body of the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that the movement gave up its rule to the Palestinian unity government.

The United Islamist Parliaments, said Al Sudani, has created a commission comprised of 16 states that will pursue the goal of getting Egypt to open the Rafah crossing and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.
Al Sudani also said that his nation continues to disbelieve the "fraudulent" Holocaust, but that President Hassan Rohani decided that keeping quiet on the matter would bolster relations with the West, and ultimately benefit the Palestinian's defense.

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