TEL AVIV – Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar this week bragged on TV about the heavy funding and training the terror group has received from Iran and said that the group is in touch with Iranian proxy Hezbollah “on an almost daily basis.”
According to a translation posted by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Sinwar told Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah al-Mayadeen TV channel on Monday:
Our resistance in the Gaza strip has greatly developed its capabilities, first and foremost thanks to Allah, but also with the help of the righteous freemen of our nation — first and foremost the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has provided the Al-Qassam brigades and the other factions of the resistance a lot of money, equipment and expertise even before the Israeli aggression, but especially after it. It has provided us a lot of resources which allowed for great development of our capabilities.
Sinwar described Hamas’ relations with Iran as “excellent.” He also specified the Gaza-ruling terror group’s “very strong, powerful and warm” relationship with elite Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and “the other brothers in the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] leadership.”
Regarding Hezbollah, Sinwar stated:
We have excellent relations with our brothers in Hizbullah. Our relations with them are extremely developed. We work together and coordinate and are in touch on an almost daily basis. The relations are at the best stage ever.
Hamas Leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar: We Are Coordinating with Hizbullah, Iran on an Almost Daily Basis pic.twitter.com/9lqKbkQ9xO
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 22, 2018
Soleimani is said to have orchestrated the 32 rockets fired on Israeli military targets from Syria earlier this month. The strike led to a retaliatory operation by the IAF on May 10 in which dozens of Iranian targets in Syria were hit.
Responding to a question from the interviewer about whether Hamas would provide Israel with “unprecedented surprises” if the IDF targeted Gaza, Sinwar said, “Absolutely.”
The IDF spokesperson’s unit posted a clip from the interview on Twitter along with the text, “The mask has been pulled off. Hamas is Iran. Iran is Hamas. The terror along the security fence is an Iranian mission,” a reference to the recent bloody riots along the border with Gaza.
The mask has been pulled off
Hamas is Iran
Iran is Hamas
The terror along the security fence is an Iranian mission pic.twitter.com/M3J38E7haB
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDFSpokesperson) May 22, 2018
In October, a senior Hamas official vowed to keep close ties with Iran. At a high-level meeting between senior Iranian officials and Hamas in Tehran, the terror group was lauded for its relentless efforts to bring about the destruction of Israel.