Iran Halts Military Aid to Hamas Because of Saudi Rapprochement

Saudis Said to Urge Hamas Involvement in Yemen

Hamas officials are once again confirming that their military ties with Iran, a long-standing backer, are entirely halted, apparently the result of Iran being unhappy with Hamas’ political wing getting closer with the Saudi government, a key regional rival.

Hamas was already starting to fall out of love with their place in Iran’s orbit, and vice versa, as the group fairly quickly bailed on its offices in Syria during the civil war, relocating its political offices elsewhere, mostly places like Turkey.

Hamas’ struggles worsened with the 2013 military coup in Egypt, which installed a junta hostile to Hamas in power. Historically, Hamas has relied on Egyptian government to act as an intercessor with Israel, particularly during the semi-annual wars they seem to have with them. This forced Hamas’ political leadership to seek an alternative for this role, and they started cozying up to Saudi Arabia.

Hamas’ military wing was said not to be keen on the idea, since this further alienated Iran and the Saudis are not coming forward with military aid to replace them. Some reports are suggesting the Saudis are offering billions in financial aid to Hamas if they agree to formally end all military resistance to the Israeli occupation, and other reports suggest that the Saudis are presenting as an alternative sending Hamas’ fighters to Yemen as a way to get them out of their hair.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.