Iran, Hamas, and the Dance of Death

By Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute

November 23, 2016

 

It now appears that the Obama Administration's failed policies in the Middle East have increased the Iranians' appetite, such that they are convinced that they can expand their influence to the Palestinians as well.

        Iran has one goal only: to eliminate the "Zionist entity" and undermine moderate and progressive Arabs and Muslims.

        "Relations between Iran and Hamas are currently undergoing revitalization, and are moving in the right direction," announced Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official. He went on to explain that "moving in the right direction" means that Iran would "continue to support the resistance" against Israel.

        Hamas and Iran have no meaningful ideological or strategic differences. Both share a common desire to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic empire. Iran expects results: Hamas is to use the financial and military support to resume attacks on Israel and "liberate all of Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea."

        As far as Iran is concerned, there is nothing better than having two proxy terror organizations on Israel's borders -- Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south.

        The biggest losers, once again, will be President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

        Israel's presence in the West Bank has thus far thwarted Iran's repeated attempts to establish bases of power there.

The Iranians and Hamas are exploiting the final days of the Obama Administration to restore their relations and pave the way for Tehran to step up its meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians in particular and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general.

Emboldened by the nuclear deal framework with the world powers, Iran has already taken the liberty of interfering in the internal affairs of other Arabs, particularly the Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians, Yemenites and some Gulf countries.

It now appears that the Obama Administration's failed policies in the Middle East have increased the Iranians' appetite, such that they are convinced that they can expand their influence to the Palestinians as well.

Thanks to the civil war in Syria, relations between Hamas and Iran have been strained over the past few years. Hamas's refusal to support the regime of Bashar Assad -- Iran's chief ally in the region -- has led the Iranians to suspend financial and military aid to the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip. However, recent signs indicate that Iran and Hamas are en route to a kind of Danse Macabre -- a move that will undoubtedly allow Tehran to become a major player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This, of course, bodes badly for any future peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Iran has one goal only: to eliminate the "Zionist entity" and undermine moderate and progressive Arabs and Muslims.

The new US administration would do well to take very seriously Iran's comeback to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because of its implications not only concerning prospects for peace, but also because it means that this will lead to an upsurge in violence and terror attacks against Israel.

Proof of Iran's renewed effort to infiltrate the Palestinian arena was provided this week by statements made by a senior Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, who is in charge of the Islamist movement's "external affairs." Asked about Hamas's relations with Iran, Hamdan was quoted as saying that he had good reason to be optimistic.

"Relations between Iran and Hamas are currently undergoing revitalization, and are moving in the right direction," Hamdan announced. He went on to explain that "moving in the right direction" means that Iran would "continue to support the resistance" against Israel:

"Relations between Iran and Hamas extend over a period of 25 years. Undoubtedly, any flaw in this relationship has a negative impact. But this relationship is capable of renewing itself. This is a relationship that is based on supporting the resistance and the Palestinian cause."