Israel threatened the Palestinian movement Hamas that it will pay the greater price for continuing its ties with the Iranian regime.
Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major General Yoav Mordechai pointed out to a visit by Hamas deputy politburo chief Saleh al-Arouri to Tehran.
“The visit indicates that Hamas leaders do not try to hide the truth that the Iranian regime, which has been oppressing its people for 40 years, is managing Hamas’ affairs in Gaza,” he said.
“Despite the developments on the Palestinian scene, the Hamas leaders, who are in awe of the Iranian support, continue to receive orders from the extremist regime that aspires to spread its so-called Islamic revolution,” he added.
“At the end of the day, who will pay the price for Hamas’ blind obedience to Iran? The residents of Gaza,” stressed the Israeli official.
Meanwhile, Arouri had arrived in Iran at the head of a high-ranking delegation and as part of his first foreign tour after the signing of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation in Cairo earlier this month.
The visit signifies a new Hamas approach to bolster its ties with Iran. Arouri, who already enjoys strong ties with Iranian officials, including Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders, is expected to bridge any gaps between the movement and Tehran.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Arouri and other members of the new politburo are leading a policy to restore Hamas’ ties with its old allies, including Iran and Syria.
Arouri enjoys the backing of Hamas chief in Gaza Yehya al-Sinwar, who earlier this week spoke highly of Iran, stating: “Iran is the greatest arms, training and arms backer of the Qassam Brigades.”
“Those who believe that we will sever our ties with it are delusional,” he added.
The new Hamas-Iran rapprochement comes in defiance to Israel that had previously demanded that the movement lay down its arms and cut its relations with Tehran as conditions to its approval of the Palestinian reconciliation.
Meanwhile, on Hamas’ ties with Qatar, Sinwar said that they were “not good” in wake of the Cairo-sponsored reconciliation.
A Palestinian source said that Qatar’s ties with Hamas deteriorated after the latter’s rapprochement with Egypt and former Fatah official Ahmed Dahlan.
This is not the first time that a Hamas official speaks of the deterioration of ties with Doha as politburo member Moussa Abou Marzouq had previously mentioned that disputes exist between the two sides.