Hamas and Islamic Jihad Leaders Meet with Iranian Officials Amid Tensions

Tehran was visited by the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad

On March 26, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyya and Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad al-Nahala met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran. Both men were greeted by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Haniyya was born on January 29, 1963 in the Shaati Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza. In 1987, he graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza in the department of Arabic literature and joined the ranks of the new Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS). After being deported in 1992 by Israeli authorities to South Lebanon, he returned to the Gaza Strip a year later and began working at the Islamic University. Haniyya eventually became the head of the Hamas government in Gaza after the killings of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi. In 2017, he was elected as the new head of the Hamas politburo, and his tenure in this position was extended in August 2021.

Al-Nahala, born in 1953 in Khan Yunis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, has a history as a militant involved in terrorist actions. After being released from prison in 1985, he joined the Islamist terrorist organization Islamic Jihad and took part in the first intifada. Al-Nahala became the Secretary General of Islamic Jihad in 2018 and is considered one of the most wanted terrorists by US authorities. His accounts have been frozen and there is a reward for information leading to his capture

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