Hamas and Islamic Jihad Leaders Hold Secret Talks with Iranian Officials Amid Tensions

Tehran was visited by the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad

In Tehran on March 26, two prominent leaders of terrorist organizations met with Iranian officials. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyya and Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad al-Nahala both visited the city, where they were received by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Ismail Haniyya was born in Gaza in 1963 and graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza in 1987. He joined the new Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) after his graduation and became head of the Hamas government in Gaza following the deaths of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi. He was later elected as the head of the Hamas politburo in 2017 and had his tenure extended in August 2021.

Ziyad al-Nahala, born in Khan Yunis in the south of Gaza Strip, has a history as a militant involved in terrorist activities. 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 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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