Iran promises Hamas support during Zahar visit
15 March 2012 17:34
Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi says Iran "fully" backs Palestinians in meeting with Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, says he is "confident the Palestinians will win the struggle."
Iranian FM Ali Akbar Salehi

Salehi 311. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar was in Iran Thursday, meeting with leaders to gather support following a weekend of military exchanges with Israel, Iranian state-run news agency IRNA reported. 

Zahar met with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, according to the report, who expressed his full support for the Palestinian cause and condemned the "dastard atrocities of the Zionist regime."

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Salehi told Zahar that the recent Israeli air strikes in Gaza were a sign of Israel's weakness.

“We are quite confident that the Palestinians will win the struggle,” Salahi said.

According to IRNA, Zahar praised and thanked Iran for its support.

On Monday, Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah met with a Hamas delegation headed by Musa Abu Marzouk, Arab media reported Wednesday.

Discussing the recent violence in Gaza and southern Israel, according to the report, both sides agreed that “the Israeli enemy bears full responsibility...the situation aims at putting more pressure on the resistance... this forces preparations for any new war staged by Israel.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Iran is the primary actor responsible for escalations in the Gaza Strip. "Gaza is Iran," the prime minister told a special Knesset session in which he was obligated to speak.

Connecting the recent round of violence in Gaza and the Iranian nuclear threat, Netanyahu said he is not prepared to accept a situation in which the country, which backs terrorist groups, becomes a nuclear power.

Rocket attacks on Israel renewed on Thursday after IAF warplanes targeted a rocket launching site and a smuggling tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday. Palestinians did not report casualties in those strikes.

The IAF attacks were in response to two Grad-model Katyusha rockets that terrorists in Gaza fired towards Beersheba.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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