A high-ranking Hamas delegation on Friday began a visit to Iran to inform its backers in Tehran about reconciliation efforts with rival faction Fatah, a Hamas official said, according to AFP.
The group was led by recently appointed deputy Hamas chief Salah al-Aruri, who is accused of organizing multiple deadly attacks against Israelis. The group will meet senior Iranian officials over the next several days, the representative said on condition of anonymity.
Hamas and Fatah agreed a landmark deal to end a decade-long split and seek to form a unity government along with other parties.
By meeting Iranian officials in Tehran, Hamas blatantly ignores Israel's demand that it cut off ties with Tehran or Israel will not recognize any unity Palestinian government.
Hamas has already rejected Israel's demand and accused the “Zionist regime” of intervening in internal Palestinian affairs.
Hamas and Iran had been at odds over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. As a result of Hamas’s refusal to support Assad in the uprising, an angry Iran reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons.
This past summer, however, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanked Iran for its "unlimited" support for the Al-Qassam Brigades and its contribution to the development of Hamas's military capabilities, an indication that the rift was over.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)