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  • Iran became a major backer of Hamas in the late 2000s.

    Iran became a major backer of Hamas in the late 2000s. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Gazan Prime Minister, Yahya Sinwar, confirmed that Iran is, once again, supporting Hamas’ military wing.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a statement that he was "ready to put aside all disagreements (with Hamas) for the sake of supporting Palestine and the Palestinian people as well as the unity of the Muslim world."

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Gazan Prime Minister, Yahya Sinwar, confirmed that Iran is, once again, supporting Hamas’ military wing. The newly appointed leader's first order of business was to repair the fractured relationship between the two.

On Monday, Sinwar, in an address to journalists, said Iran is "the largest backer financially and militarily" supporter of Hamas' Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Sinwar said that Hamas will now "(develop) our military strength in order to liberate Palestine," with the help of the rekindled alliance Iran.

"The Iranian military support to Hamas and al-Qassam is strategic," Sinwar explained, adding that the relationship between the two had "become fantastic and returned to its former era."

However, he added, that Hamas would also take "every effort to avoid a war… At the same time, we are not afraid of a war and are ready for it."

According to counterterrorism and intelligence expert at the Institute for Near East Policy, Matthew Levitt, related that Iran became a major backer of Hamas in the late 2000s and allegedly funded more than one-quarter of its budget in 2006.

As a result, the United Nations imposed severe sanctions on Iran in 2008, forcing the Republic to withdraw significant support from Hamas to focus on strengthening its own economy.

Three years later, Iran had all but stopped funding Hamas after the group, in a counterintuitive move, backed the Sunni rebels' bid to overthrow Iranian ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But, the attendance of a Hamas delegation to the second-term inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, sent a strong message that they had agreed to "turn a new page in bilateral relations."

Prior to Sinwar's announcement, Hamas' two major state-based backers were Turkey as well as Qatar, which is facing a Saudi-led blockade.

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