Palestinian militant leaders hold talks in Iran amid escalating violence
Amid intensifying violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the leaders of Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad engaged in discussions with high-ranking Iranian officials in Tehran.
Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the chief of Islamic Jihad, met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, while Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, held talks with Ali Akbar Ahmadian, the newly-appointed secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), before meeting other top officials.
Ahmadian conveyed to Haniyeh that the most effective approach to ending Palestine’s more than 75 years of occupation is through resistance, as reported by the Nournews website associated with the SNSC. Nakhalah has been in Iran since the previous week, having held meetings with prominent Iranian figures such as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Raisi.
During their meeting, Raisi informed Nakhalah that Israel aims to normalize relations with additional Arab and Muslim nations as a means to dissuade young Palestinians from seeking to liberate the occupied territories. The president’s office released a statement praising Palestinian “resistance” against Israel.
In 2020, Israel established diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Bahrain through the Abraham Accords mediated by the United States. While Saudi Arabia refrains from recognizing Israel, partly due to its treatment of the Palestinians, the Sunni Muslim power and its rival Iran agreed to mend relations in March, facilitated by China.
The talks between Iran and Palestinian representatives coincided with an Israeli incursion into Jenin in the West Bank on Monday. The operation resulted in the deaths of five Palestinians, including an Islamic Jihad militant, and left five Israeli border police and two soldiers injured. The Israeli military claimed that the raid aimed to apprehend two “wanted suspects,” one from Hamas and the other from Islamic Jihad.
Haniyeh, leading a substantial delegation, arrived in Iran earlier on Monday, as reported by the state news agency IRNA. He is scheduled to hold discussions with President Raisi, Ayatollah Khamenei, and other officials.
Iran staunchly supports the Palestinians and does not recognize its arch-enemy Israel, which, along with the United States, designates Hamas and Islamic Jihad as terrorist organizations.