Hamas welcomes Iran's approach to restore ties: official

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-7-25 9:25:40

Hamas welcomes Wednesday Iran's intention to hold a dialogue with the Palestinian militant group to restore the ties between the two sides that were deteriorated over the Syrian crisis, a Hamas official told Xinhua.

Salah al-Bardaweel, an official from the Islamic movement that controls the Gaza Strip, said his group "welcomes all forms of dialogue with Iran to boost the strong relations between the two sides."

"Our ties with Iran were never cut, but they have recently been cold over the crisis in Syria."

In 2012, Hamas abandoned its long-time base in Damascus to avoid Iranian pressure to take sides with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad against the opposition rebels.

Iran has been the largest political and financial backer for both Hamas and Al-Assad.

"We emphasize that Hamas is interested in keeping its relationship with any Arab or Islamic party which supports the Palestinian cause," al-Bardaweel said.

Al-Bardaweel's remarks came after the spokesperson for the Iranian foreign ministry Abbas Araqchi said that Tehran and Hamas were going to resolve some problems that could have caused misunderstanding between them.

Al-Bardaweel contended that Iran unilaterally scrimped its relations with his movement, but Hamas did not choose to go away from Tehran.

Experts say that Hamas lost about 20 million US dollars that Iran paid for the Islamic movement in Gaza per month.

When being asked if Iran's military support to the group was affected, Ahmed Yousef, another official from Hamas, said all kinds of Iranian support were cut.

Hamas seems to be more interested in restoring its Iranian allies after its hope on the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt dashed when the Egyptian military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

Morsi's Brotherhood movement is the mother of Hamas.

Gaza is facing "a fierce security and media campaign" from Egypt, with the army closing the tunnels, which once served as the main lifeline of Gaza under strict Israeli siege between 2007 and 2010, al-Bardaweel contended.

According to the official, Egyptian military helicopters flew into southern Gaza to crack down upon Jihadists in Sinai for at least three times since the beginning of the Egyptian crisis. It was the first time that Egyptian military aircraft fly over Gaza skies since 1967, which was condemned by al-Bardaweel.

Posted in: Mid-East

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