Tehran visit 'opened new chapter' in relations: Hamas

Hamas welcomed the support of Iran saying Arabs are just spectators to the Judaization of Jerusalem by Israel.

Tehran visit 'opened new chapter' in relations: Hamas
World Bulletin/News Desk
Ali Baraka, Hamas' representative in Lebanon, said Friday that a recent visit by a Hamas delegation to Iran had "opened a new chapter" in relations between Tehran and the Palestinian resistance movement.

"[Tehran] has pledged to continue supporting the [Palestinian] resistance," Baraka told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.

A Hamas delegation visited the Islamic republic last week to discuss means of improving relations, which had soured in recent years due to Hamas' position vis-à-vis the conflict in Syria.

Hamas had enjoyed strong ties with Iran before the eruption of the so-called "Arab Spring" uprisings almost four years ago.

When a popular uprising erupted in 2011 against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Hamas had refused to give its support to Damascus, a close ally of Iran.

Recent months, however, have seen Hamas and Iran taking tentative steps towards reconciliation.

Earlier this month, Hamas' military wing, the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades, thanked Iran for providing the group with rockets that were used against Israel during the latter's deadly military onslaught on the Gaza Strip this summer.

"Hamas welcomes the support of any Arab or Muslim state," Baraka said. "But unfortunately, the Arabs are just spectators... to the systematic Judaization of Jerusalem by Israel and the expansion of illegal settlements [on Arab land]."

"We have not received responses from a number of Arab countries that we had asked to support us and our people [against Israeli aggression]," he said.

He added: "This has forced us to seek support from other [Muslim] nations such as Iran."

Nevertheless, Baraka stressed that Hamas was keen on maintaining good relations with Arab countries – along with Turkey and Iran – "in order to safeguard the resistance" following Israel's devastating offensive on the blockaded Gaza Strip that left over 2,160 Palestinians – mostly civilians – dead in July and August.

Following the Tehran visit, some Palestinian media outlets had reported that Saudi Arabia had called certain Hamas officials to voice its displeasure with the visit.

Hamas officials, however, subsequently denied the reports.

Tension – the result of political and sectarian differences – continues to mar ties between Saudi Arabia and predominantly-Shiite Iran.

Iranian support for the Syrian government, meanwhile, has only served to widen the gap between Riyadh and Tehran.

Hamas wrested control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after routing forces loyal to rival Palestinian faction Fatah, prompting Israel to impose a draconian blockade – which remains in force until today – on the Hamas-run coastal enclave.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Aralık 2014, 17:15