Senior representatives from Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) met Iranian officials in Beirut on Monday, where they thanked Iran in separate meetings for supporting the Palestinian cause, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.
Salah al-Arouri, a senior Hamas commander who was recently deported from Qatar, was photographed speaking with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a special adviser on international affairs to Iran’s parliament speaker.
Abdollahian said at the meeting that strengthening the “axis of resistance”—a term referring to the coalition of Middle Eastern anti-Israel forces, including Iran, its Lebanese proxy group Hezbollah, and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—would enhance regional security and intensify the fight against terrorism.
Abdollahian called on Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to join forces against the “Zionist entity” in the name of “Islamic unity.”
The Iranian and Hamas delegations also attacked growing ties between Israel and the Arab world, Iran’s Mehr News reported, with Arouri saying that Hamas would “continue the fight until the complete liberation of all Palestinian territories is achieved.”
IRNA reported that Abdollahian separately met with a delegation from the terrorist group PFLP, which was led by its deputy general secretary, Abu Ahmad Fouad. Abdollahian told Fouad that the only way to support the Palestinian cause is through “resistance,” a common euphemism for terrorism.
He added that “the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to support them as strongly as it can,” according to IRNA.
“While many regional countries are trying to normalize their relations with the Zionist regime, Iran is the standard-bearer of combating Israel and the cause of liberating Palestine,” Fouad said.
In July 2016, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps expressed its support for Hamas, praising the terrorist group for being “at the forefront of the Palestinian nation’s anti-Zionism resistance and fight.” Hamas representatives met with Iranian diplomats shortly afterwards in Beirut, where the two parties pledged to unite the Muslim world and confront the “Zionist danger” together.
In June, IDF intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi said that Iran contributes $50 million to Hamas’ annual budget, $75 million to Hezbollah, and $70 million to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Tehran also reportedly backs the Gaza-based Shiite terrorist group al-Sabirin, which Israel’s Channel 2 described as being modeled after Hezbollah. Al-Sabirin is led by a former Islamic Jihad commander and said to receive $10 million annually from Iran.
[Photo: Mehr News ]