Hamas ready to cooperate with Iran ‘to destroy Israeli occupation’
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH/J.Post
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar on Sunday called on Iran to provide his movement with additional funds and weapons to enable it to “destroy Israeli occupation.”Zahar told the Hezbollah TV station Al-Manar that Hamas was prepared to cooperate with Iran “for the sake of Palestine.”Zahar’s remarks came amid reports that Hamas and Iran have agreed to restore their relations, which were strained following the Islamist movement’s refusal to support the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Sources close to Hamas said that the movement’s Doha-based leader, Khaled Mashaal, is expected to visit Tehran in the coming weeks as part of the rapprochement between the two sides.The sources confirmed that Iran has agreed to resume financial aid to Hamas in the aftermath of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
In recent weeks, two Hamas delegations visited Tehran and held talks with senior Iranian government officials for the first time since the beginning of the civil war in Syria. Hamas has also been working to mend fences with Hezbollah. Last weekend, representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah met in Beirut to discuss cooperation between the two parties. The Hamas delegation was headed by Ahmed Abdel Hadi, while the Hezbollah team was led by Hasan Huballah, according to reports in the Lebanese media.
According to the reports, the two sides “affirmed the need for consolidating cooperation and preventing tensions (between the two sides).” Hamas leaders recently sent letters of condolences to Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah over the killing of some senior Hezbollah operatives in the Syrian part of the Golan Heights. In their letters, the Hamas leaders stressed the importance of cooperation with Hezbollah in the fight against Israel. Zahar, in the interview with the Hezbollah TV station, called on Nasrallah to coordinate with Hamas with regards to attacks against Israel from the Lebanese border.