Alwaght– On October 12, the major Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, struck a deal for reconciliation in their Cairo meeting, mending a decade-long rift between Gaza Strip and West Bank and paving the way for forming a national unity government.
Soon after signing the agreement, large-scale rumors and speculations began to hit the deadlines on the terms of the deal and its outcomes for the Palestinians– both people and the political groups.
Alwaght has hosted a meeting that gathered together the Iranian political analysts and a Hamas delegation visiting Iran led by the new deputy head of Hamas Political Office Saleh al-Aruri.
The meeting covered a series of matters including the current Palestinian developments like the future of the reconciliation deal, the future of the Palestinian resistant groups, the arms of the resistant group in the shadow of the new accord, as well as Hamas relations with Iran.
Referring to the longstanding Iranian nation’s awareness of the Palestinian cause, Mr Al-Aruri noted that the issue of Palestine was a case calling attention of the Iranians even before the Islamic Revolution that installed the Islamic Republic of Iran. He further said that Palestine was the main point of difference between Imam Khomeini, the revolutionary leader and founder of the Islamic Republic, and the pro-Western Shah of Iran whose rule was brought to an end by the revolution of 1979.
The Hamas official further highlighted the present-day Iranian support for the Palestinian groups.
“We see this backing in the words of the Leader (Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei) and also in the Friday Prayer by the Iranian clerics. They are supporting the Al-Quds intifada. Palestine and Al-Quds causes are key issues in Iran. This even adds to our duties. During our meetings with the Iranian officials, we assert that the Palestinian cause is for both of us, and none of us is allowed to back down from its agenda,” Mr Al-Aruri maintained.
Touching on this month’s national reconciliation accord signed in the Egyptian capital Cairo, the Hamas official said that the Palestinian group stressed the need to keep the arms in hand and also cling to the national principles and fundamentals.
“We have left behind a great deal of difficulties and we have much more ahead. We essentially believe in our arms, our power to build the historical state of Palestine, and also disappearance of the Israeli regime. These are unchangeable. Hamas will never retreat from its principles. We will never put our arms down,” he asserted.
Commenting on the fate of the resistant group’s weapons after the reconciliatory agreement, Hamas official noted “During the Cairo conference, we insisted on keeping our weapons. We expressed this principle in the front of the media’s cameras. The national reconciliation accord in Cairo covered everything but the weapons and the resistance.
Mr Al-Aruri accentuated the significance of keeping alive the relations with Tehran.
“It was after this deal that (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu had his say about the agreement. He said that we have three conditions before we can approve of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation. First, Hamas should put its arms down. Second, it should recognize Israel. And third, sever relations with Iran. Here is our answer: We will not lay down our weapons, nor will we recognize Israel, and moreover, nor will we cut off our ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our visit of Iran is a clear proof to this point,” he asserted.
“We as Hamas movement will never approve of disarming the resistance because we believe that we are now in the stage of annihilation, and not recognition, of Israel,” Mr Al-Aruri said, echoing the opinion of Yayha Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza.
He also talked about the future of relations between Hamas and Tehran, maintaining that the Palestinian group enjoyed strategic ties with the Islamic Republic.
“This is not a state-to-state relationship. We are a resistant movement in Palestine with no government or a United Nations representative. Rather, we are under siege for years. We think that the Palestinian cause is central to the Islamic Republic and we think, as Iran does, that Israel is a fundamental threat to the Islamic world. We see it as a duty to practically and on the fronts fight the Zionist regime as an enemy to the Islamic ummah, and we expect help from the Muslim world.
Palestine, from the river to the sea
Mr Al-Aruri also talked about the reconciliation document and the issues surrounding it. We and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) reached an agreement for forming a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders to secure the basics. But originally, we remain loyal to the ideal of the Palestinian country from the river to the sea and strongly believe that all of the Palestinian refugees have to return to their home land. So, we have not altered our principles and this is something that will never change.
Mr Al-Aruri also explained how Hamas will keep its arms after the deal that is supposed to put an end to the decade-long differences with Fatah.
“Each and every line of the deal is written with awareness. The resistance’s security and military systems in Gaza will remain working as ever. We in Hamas are not worried about the future of the resistance arms. Our calculations are precise and our control on the ground is full. We are sure that the resistance tunnels and also the weapons like the rockets will meet no harms. Moving on the track of resistance is our aim, and this motion will never stop. The future generation of Palestine will be even more adherent to the Palestinian ideals and principles than the current generation. We now are training fresh fighters for future resistance to combat Israel. We will continue strong enough to liberate the Al-Quds.
Relations with Iran on the rise
As the meeting went on, Osama Hamdan, Hamas Arab affairs chief, highlighted the US’s “colonial” plan to partition the region and divide the Muslim world, adding that the Palestinians as part of the Islamic ummah need to constantly interact. The scheme to split the region is an American project, with Israel standing as its decision-making center. In fact, the occupying regime is standing behind the scene and designing a split project for the regional nations. At the present time, Israel is trying to ally with some of the region’s countries, aiming at waging a war against Islam and the Islamic thought. This is because the Zionists believe that the Islamic thought provides the core tenets of the nations’ resistance to the oppression.
Mr Hamdan underscored the continuation of anti-Israeli resistance, saying: “Three decades of Hamas resistance proves that we have no other choice than resistance and it remains our way. We have inside Hamas a set of institutions such as advisory council, leadership council, and also the revolutionary council. Hamas is not based on a single person’s opinions, it is based on belief, ideology, plans, and organization, which make it impossible to deviate. These institutions are now administered by a new generation who, as the Zionists themselves admit, is much more steadfast in its clinging to its ideals than the older generation.
The resistance line as a benchmark
Sadollah Zarei, an Iranian foreign policy expert who also heads Iran’s Andishesazan Noor Institute for Strategic Studies, said when it comes to the liberation of Al-Quds from the occupying regime, the Iranian nation and experts put a premium on the Hamas movement. “We hope that Hamas remains persistent with ideal of Palestine liberation.” Mr Zarei continued.
The foreign policy expert added: look what happened in the Hamas Political Office. The anti-Israeli forces won the majority in the Hamas Political Office. This is promising to the Iranian people and experts who see the resistance as the sole way of liberation of Palestine.
“Despite many highs and lows, Hamas has remained on the track of resistance and this is the main benchmark to for testing Hamas,” he said
The head of Andishesazan Noor Institute for Strategic Studies also told of Iranian friendliness with Hamas.
“You are at home when you are in Iran. Being like a family bears two features: First, the members have passion for each other and second they are blunt in talking to each other. Passion and bluntness are two key factors highly crucial for a family to have better connection and life at home”, Mr Zarei maintained.
He further touched on the importance of the Palestinian cause for the Iranian people, officials, and also the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, adding that over a decade we have witnessed fundamental changes in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon, Tunisia, Syria, and also Iraq. However, if we want to be precise, we can see Palestine occupying a considerable share among others in the speeches of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
“In fact, the word Palestine use outnumbers the other countries’ names. For instance, even at the peak of the Syrian developments, his speeches are inundated with the word of Palestine, something apparently signaling the importance of the Palestinian cause for the Islamic Republic,” Mr Zarei concluded.