TEL AVIV – Four Muslim states have declined to grant entry to a high-ranking Hamas delegation, an informed source in the movement told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Hamas has asked Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, and Jordan to invite a group of Hamas top brass, led by political leader Khaled Mashal (pictured), on an official visit. The source said that Saudi Arabia didn’t even reply to the request conveyed by Qatar.
Even Iran, which recently made significant overtures toward Hamas in a bid to bring it into its orbit, refused to invite a delegation headed by deputy political leader Moussa Abu Marzouk after he was heard criticizing the Islamic Republic’s “unhelpful” policy vis-à-vis the Arabs in a leaked recording.
Iran demanded an apology, which Hamas, for fear of a Sunni backlash, didn’t issue. The source says that animosity following the incident is the reason behind Iran’s cold shoulder.
It should be noted, however, that a Hamas delegation visited Iran in February for the anniversary celebrations of the Islamic Revolution, and Abu Marzouk himself went to Beirut for a meeting with Hezbollah and Iranian officials, but the attempts at a thaw have yet to bear fruit.
For now, according to the Hamas source, Iran makes do with channeling funds to help rehabilitate Hamas’ military wing, which is still reeling from the 2014 conflict with Israel.
Breitbart Jerusalem recently quoted Hamas sources saying that most of the Iranian funds go to rebuilding the organization’s tunnel network, which it sees as its primary strategic asset.
However, says the source, “following Hamas’ refusal to apologize for Abu Marzouk’s comments and to issue a statement blaming Saudi Arabia for the unrest in the Middle East, Iran signals that it has given up on courting them.”
Consequently, Hamas will not be entitled to an increased aid package. Indeed, Hamas recently called on its activists, who have not been regularly paid, to be patient.
Jordan also declined to invite Hamas, which sought to “officially open a bilateral chapter” with the kingdom, the source said. Kuwait, for its part, responded that it was unable to host the delegation due to time constraints.
The source said that the movement is not internationally isolated “even though some countries’ diplomatic priorities hinder our ability to maintain relations with them. With the Islamic State and the Syrian and Yemenite conflicts in the background, much fewer people are interested in the Palestinian issue.”
Asked for comment on this report, Hamas Member of Parliament, Mushir al-Masri told Breitbart Jerusalem, “Hamas has good relations based on mutual respect with all Arab and Muslim countries. I don’t know about any country which refused to host a Hamas delegation. If a visit was cancelled because of technical reasons due to schedule obligations there is no need to dramatize things and to create stories about Hamas’s isolation.”