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Iran Congratulates Haniyeh as New Hamas Leader, Urges Him to Liberate Palestine

A powerful Iranian general congratulated Ismail Haniyeh on his recent appointment as the new leader of Hamas, and encouraged him to “raise the issue of Palestine” as part of the Muslims’ “global fight against Arrogance,” the Mehr News Agency reported Wednesday.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps(IRGC)-Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani praised Haniyeh and called on the new Hamas leader to fight what Mehr referred to as “the evil plots of Zionist and global Arrogance,” which are attempting to undermine the Islamic world and “seeking seizure of the Holy Qods,” a reference to Jerusalem.

“Great tasks belong to great men; as promised we rely on your foresight to reach a future during which the domestic crises are solved with prudence,” Soleimani said. “We await strengthening of unity with Hamas, the ally of Resistance axis, to raise the issue of Palestine again; to this aim we count on your efforts to replace the Palestine on top of Muslims global fight [against Arrogance].” The references to “Arrogance” mean the United States.

Soleimani encouraged Haniyeh to continue fighting until the liberation of Al Aqsa and the entire Palestinian territory. He also called for Jerusalem to be converted into a site for all Muslims and Christians.

Soleimani’s encouragement to Haniyeh comes at a time that Hamas appears to be overcoming internal resistance to closely allign itself with Iran.

A top Hamas official in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, called on the Gaza-based terror group to improve its ties with Tehran, in October of last year.

When Haniyeh stepped down as leader of Hamas in Gaza last year, he was replaced first by Imad al-Alami, and then permanently by Yehya Sinwar. Both al-Alami and Sinwar are allied with Iran.

Soleimani’s words of support suggest that Iran will be aiding Hamas to build its terror infrastructure to threaten Israel.

Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters in May of last year that Hamas is investing “a lot in making the necessary preparations so that in the next round, when they decide to start it, they will be able to inflict the heaviest damage on Israel.”

Despite the release of a political document earlier this month that some interpreted as a sign of moderation, Zahar said that Hamas remains committed to Israel destruction.

[Photo: PressTV ]