Tags: iran | hamas | gaza | qasem soleimani

Iran's Shadow Commander Inspires Hamas in Gaza

Iran's Shadow Commander Inspires Hamas in Gaza
In this picture taken on September 14, 2013, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force, Gen. Qassem Suleimani, is seen in Tehran. (Mehdi Ghasemi/AFP/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 05:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The leader of Iran's Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Major General Qasem Soleimani, spoke via live broadcast to Gaza directly from Teheran, Iran.

A few minutes into his presentation technical difficulties emerged and the screen went blank. The transmission stopped. The message was cut off.

The event, which took place earlier this week, was broadcast to the Commodore Hotel in Gaza where Soleimani appeared on a huge screen. Originally, the commander was supposed to express appreciation for Gaza's leadership and all senior Hamas leadership was scheduled to attend. Then the presentation was reconfigured for midlevel leadership.

Both the presenter and the attendees were fearful that, with all senior leadership in one room, they would be too rich and too tempting a target for Israel. They decided that the risk to their organization far outweighed the respect they would be paying to their patron Iran. To that end, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar explained that security issues were at stake and he would not be attending the event. At the last minute Mahmoud al-Zahr, a senior Hamas member, also became a "no show."

Any number of things could have happened to cause the glitch in the transmission. But of course, Hamas blamed Israel for the transmission disruption.

And maybe they were correct!

Israel may have squelched the electronic telecast, they certainly have the wherewithal and the interest to do so. But, unless they changed their current policy which is to target Hamas leaders only when they are in the act of planning an attack, Israel would not have used this magnet event to target Hamas leadership. Not as they sat gathered inside the hall of the Commodore Hotel nor as they individually traveled to and from the event.

Whatever Israel would or would not have done, however, is secondary to the story. The salient story line, the essential here, is the message that went forth about the link between Hamas and Iran. With this broadcast, Iran and Hamas came out of the proverbial closet and publicly announced their very close knit and cozy relationship.

After going through a rough patch, Hamas and Iran are together again, linked arm-in-terrorist-arm. The time for speculation is over, the facts speak for themselves. Hamas is receiving support and advice from Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the most active, aggressive and the best organized of all of Iran's elite units, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force.

Soleimani wields tremendous power. He is the mastermind responsible for Iran's success in Syria and Iraq. With the blessing of Iran's Supreme Leader, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is in charge of almost everything that is important to Iran. So much so that they either own or have significant interests in much of their country's infrastructure and even have a substantial independent division charged with influencing and controlling the Guard's interests outside of Iran.

Qasem Soleimani is the maestro of the Guard. His followers nicknamed him Haj Qassem. Western intelligence services call him the Shadow Commander because he is always lurking in the shadows behind the scenes and always pulling the strings of operations and activities.

Qasem Soleimani is a wanted man. He is wanted by countries around the world for his role as terrorist organizer and terrorist facilitator.

For Hamas, he is an inspirational icon. And that is why he was invited to deliver a message to Hamas leadership and it is why he accepted. His expertise is not building infrastructure. Soleimani does not establish schools or government institutions or justice systems. He is not a builder — he is a destroyer. He is a master murderer and terrorist organizer — and for Hamas, Commander Qasem Soleimani is a role model and a hero.

By no coincidence, on the same day that Soleimani's speech was truncated in Gaza, Iran's Supreme Leader, the Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, gave a speech where he ranted on and on about Palestinians and the commitment of the United States to Israel. The Iranian leader called on all of Islam to unite. He said: "The Americans called it the deal of the century, but it will never be implemented. The Palestinian issue is not forgotten and Jerusalem will always remain its capital. Palestinians, along with the support of the Muslim world, will continue the resistance.

In Iranian-speak, "resistance" is a synonym for terror or any attack against Israel. The Iranians are in lock step with Hamas.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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The leader of Iran's Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Major General Qasem Soleimani, spoke via live broadcast to Gaza directly from Teheran, Iran.
iran, hamas, gaza, qasem soleimani
790
2018-27-18
Wednesday, 18 July 2018 05:27 PM
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