Hamas leader’s visit to Iran defies Israeli condition on Palestinian unity
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Hamas leader’s visit to Iran defies Israeli condition on Palestinian unity

US peace envoy slams Saleh al-Arouri for vowing not to cut ties with Tehran, says 'Palestinians deserve so much better than this'

Hamas representative Saleh al-Arouri, after signing a reconciliation deal with senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, during a short ceremony at the Egyptian intelligence complex in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017. (AP/Nariman El-Mofty)
Hamas representative Saleh al-Arouri, after signing a reconciliation deal with senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, during a short ceremony at the Egyptian intelligence complex in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017. (AP/Nariman El-Mofty)

WASHINGTON — A top Hamas official defiantly rejected Israel’s conditions for recognizing Hamas-Palestinian Authority unity, noting that the very act he was committing — an official visit to Iran — went against the conditions.

“Our presence in Iran is the practical denial of the third precondition — cutting ties with Iran,” said Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy chief of the terrorist organization controlling the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters, which quoted Iranian news wires.

Arouri, who was in Iran over the weekend, also committed Hamas to rejecting the other two conditions, disarming and recognizing Israel.

The Trump administration has encouraged the unity talks — while also embracing Israel’s conditions — seeing the Palestinian Authority’s return to control in Gaza as key to advancing peace talks.

US President Donald Trump’s top negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, decried Arouri’s defiance in posts Monday on Twitter.

“Hamas, which has only brought ruin and misery to Palestinians, now begs Iran for help and again vows to destroy Israel,” Greenblatt said. “Palestinians deserve so much better than this. We must find a better path forward toward peace and prosperity.”

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