A deputy leader of the Gaza-based terror group Hamas, said that Iran is the “main and primary benefactor” of Hamas, as he visited Tehran, while Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are engaged in reconciliation talks.
Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy political chief who was in Tehran leading a delegation from Hamas who were meeting top officials of the Islamic Republic’s government, called Iran “the main and primary benefactor supporting the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades in developing their capabilities, whether through knowledge or assistance,” referring to the terrorist operations of the group, Ynet reported Sunday.
Speaking for Hamas, Al-Arouri openly defied the Quartet conditions, which requires both Israelis and Palestinians to reject “incitement, and terror,” and accept of “the two-State solution, building upon previous agreements and obligations,” calling into question if the unity government recently announced by the Palestinians can make peace.
“We don’t accept it at all,” al-Arouri said of the condition that Hamas disarm, Iran’s Press TV reported Sunday. Al-Arouri said that Hamas also rejected the condition that it must recognize Israel. He added that Hamas would never cut its ties with Tehran, referring to a condition mentioned by Israel’s security cabinet last week as necessary for it to negotiate with the Palestinian unity government.
Later in the week, Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, released a statement largely reiterating the Israeli conditions. Greenblatt’s statement read, “the United States reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations.”
Al-Arouri’s boast about Iran’s support recalls a similar one made by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah last year who said, “we are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”