Defying Israel’s condition that Hamas cut its ties with Iran, Hamas delegation meets with Iranian officials in Tehran Friday; Hamas head: The time has passed for us to discuss whether Hamas will recognize Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel, Oct. 20, 2017.
A delegation of senior Hamas officials held meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran Friday. The meetings were centered on the recent Palestinian unity government, Israel and bilateral relations between Hamas and Iran. The delegation was led by Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri, a known terrorist.
The meeting comes despite Israel’s set condition that Hamas must cut its ties with Tehran for the Palestinians to reenter negotiations with Israel.
Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement last week, the Palestinian Authority announcing it would retake control of the Gaza Strip in December. The agreement was signed in Cairo by representatives of both factions, the PA to resume its control of the Gaza Strip after a decade of conflict. Al-Aruri and Fatah representative Azzam al-Ahmad signed the agreement, with negotiations to form a unity government underway.
Israel’s Security Cabinet voted on Tuesday to not negotiate with the Palestinians until Hamas disarms and recognizes the State of Israel, the Cabinet releasing a list of necessary conditions to enter negotiations for the peace process.
One of the conditions specific to Hamas is to cut ties with the Islamic Republic, Hamas defying Israel’s conditions within days of them being announced. Conditions specific to Hamas also include disarming and returning the bodies of fallen soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, as well as the release of Avraham Mengistu, who is believed to be imprisoned by Hamas.
Hamas head Yahya Sinwar confirmed the terror organization has not intention of recognizing the State of Israel, but rather wiping it out. Sinwar responded to Israel’s conditions set midweek, stating “The time has passed for us to discuss whether Hamas will recognize Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel… No one in the universe can disarm us. On the contrary, we will continue to have the power to protect our citizens. No one has the ability to extract from us recognition of the occupation.”
Just weeks following his appointment as Hamas head this summer, Sinwar confirmed strengthened ties between Iran and Hamas, announcing, “The relationship [between Hamas and Iran] is developing and returning to what it was in the old day… Relations with Iran are excellent and Iran is the largest supporter of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades [Hamas military wing] with money and arms.”
Sinwar was incarcerated in Israel for 22 years, sentenced to four life terms in the 1980’s for the murder of Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel. He was also involved in the planning of the abduction of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994. Palestinians disguised themselves as Orthodox Jews, abducting Wachsman and later killing him during a failed mission by the IDF.
Sinwar was one of the terrorists released of 1,047 in October 2011 as part of a prisoner swap for then captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit was kidnapped in June of 2006 and by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and held captive in the Gaza Strip until October 2011.
He was one of the founders of the Brigades in the 1980’s and has been one of the terrorist organization’s strongest figures. He founded the Brigades intelligence force “Majd” and is on the United States terrorism blacklist.
Photo: CC, 2017.