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Zarif congratulates Haniyeh on appointment as Hamas leader



Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has congratulated Ismail Haniyeh over his appointment as the leader of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Zarif offered Haniyeh his congratulations in a letter in which he also reiterated Iran’s support for the people of Palestine.

Haniyeh was chosen as the leader of the movement on Saturday, replacing Khaled Meshaal.             

Haniyeh became prime minister in Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, which saw a landslide victory for Hamas. Since then, the West has been refusing to deal with Hamas due to its refusal to recognize Israel.

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas forced Haniyeh out of office in 2007 amid differences between Hamas and rival Fatah movement, after which the movement established its rule in the Gaza Strip.

On May 1, Hamas accepted the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders but reaffirmed its firm stance on armed resistance.

Hamas is a leading force in the fight against Israel, which has waged three wars against the Palestinian territory since 2007, killing thousands of people.

The last war began in early July 2014 and ended on August 26 the same year. It killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and wounded over 11,100 others.

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