Last month Iranian diplomats who spoke to Al-Monitor floated rumors that Hamas was seeking to reestablish close ties with Tehran, after a period that saw the Palestinian terror group drift toward Sunni extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s decline in Egypt had, according to both those diplomats and independent analysts, sent Hamas into a downward spiral and forced the organization to return to Iran’s camp.
According to Arabic media sources, it’s safe to consider those rumors confirmed:
Senior members of Hezbollah and Hamas announced on Monday in the Lebanese press that they’ve formed a stronger pact with Iran’s government to watch out for one another’s interests in the Middle East. The announcement came as officials with Hamas and Hezbollah — included on the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list — said they wrapped a couple of weeks of meetings with Iranian authorities to discuss recent developments in the region, Ynet News reported. Following those discussions, the newspaper As-Safir said, the officials agreed to fortify an “axis of resistance.”
Hamas’s return to the Iranian fold has been rewarded by Tehran, and financial backing has resumed.
Hamas has also been looking to bolster its alliances in other ways. Reports emerged last week that the group was seeking to create a joint command center Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian terror group that regularly receives materials from Iran.
Over the weekend a mortar fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip slammed into Israel. No injuries or damage were reported.
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