Soleimani’s Replacement to Work With Palestinians to Oppose Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’
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JERUSALEM, Israel – Esmail Ghaani, the new leader of Iran’s Quds Force, is taking aim at Israel in what appears to be one of his first major moves since replacing the slain Qassem Soleimani.
Iranian media reports that Ghaani held separate phone calls with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian Islamic Jihad Ziad Nakhaleh to discuss how Iran can help the terror groups oppose President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century.”
The commander claimed that Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan is “doomed to failure.” Hamas said in a statement that Iran’s support “boosts morale and determination to liberate Palestine.”
Ghaani stepped up as leader of the Quds force after the United States killed his predecessor, Soleimani, in an airstrike in Iraq on Jan. 3. Iran also appointed Mohammed Hejazi as Ghaani’s deputy.
Hejazi is an expert in smuggling precision-guided missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon, which presents a major security threat to Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Iran has proven to be one of the strongest supporters of Palestinian terrorism against the State of Israel.
Last year, a Hamas delegation met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran to strengthen its relationship with the Islamic Republic and pursue a military alliance with the "Axis of Resistance"– an anti-Israel and anti-Western alliance between Iran and its allies in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria.
After the meeting, Khamenei vowed to continue giving Hamas economic and military aid because "victory over the enemy will only be achieved through struggle and resistance," he said.
"Only a few years ago the Palestinians fought the Zionist enemy with stones, and today they are equipped with precise missiles," Khamenei continued.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are both responsible for previous rounds of rockets fired at Israel from Gaza. In November, Israel assassinated major Islamic Jihad leader Abu al-Ata. Islamic Jihad responded by sending numerous rockets flying towards Israeli civilians.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke to Islamic Jihad’s Nakhaleh twice in November after the fighting.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also met one-on-one with Hamas’ leader. Turkish media reports the meeting focused on the latest developments in the region and Trump’s peace plan.
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