Al-Monitor reported from Gaza today that Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal received phone calls on 7 July from Tehran “initiated” by Ali Larijani, the speaker of Majlis, Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, and a senior IRGC commander. The unnamed political official in Hamas, Al-Monitor’s source, also said that Hezbollah Secretary General Nassrallah called Meshaal on 20 July.
“It is no secret that the relationship between (Hamas and Hezbollah) officials has not been great because of the crisis in Syria. But Iran contacting Meshaal through (Speaker of Majlis) Ali Larijani, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and a senior IRGC officer on 7 July encouraged Nasrallah to call Meshaal despite the Syrian boycott of Hamas. Therefore, Nasrallah contacting Meshaal has not had positive echoes in Damascus,” a Palestinian official in Lebanon told Al-Monitor. (Al-Monitor, 26 July)
On 16 July, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a speech on Gaza accused Hamas leadership of being “amateurs, wearing the mask of resistance according to their interests in order to improve their image.” (Al-Monitor, 26 July)
Renewal of relationships between Iran/Hezbollah and Hamas could be a move to show that the “axis of resistance” between Tehran, Damascus and Hezbollah should also include Hamas. Assad would be obviously upset with the development, as Hamas has called for his removal as a necessary step to bring peace and normalcy back to Syria. The events in the region are moving so rapidly that old alliances might come under questions and new alliances, albeit temporary ones take their place; another manifestation that the region is facing its most serious crisis ever.
File photo: Hamas Chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo in 2012. (AP)