Hamas Political Chief Ismail Haniyeh (center) during a meeting with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran on June 21, 2023

Hamas Leader Meets Iran’s Khamenei Amid West Bank Tensions

Wednesday, 06/21/2023

Hamas Political Chief Ismail Haniyeh met Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran shortly after the Palestinian group killed four Israelis.

The killing happened near the West Bank settlement, Eli, in what Hamas called a response to a major Israeli operation in nearby Jenin.

Emergency services reported that four other people were wounded, including a minor, when the gunmen opened fire at a roadside restaurant and a gas station near Eli settlement.

After the attack, Israel said it was beefing up its forces’ presence in the West Bank.

Authorities said the two gunmen belonged to Hamas' armed wing. One was killed by a civilian at the scene and the other by Israeli security forces.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has a network of fighters across the West Bank, described the attack as a "heroic" response to Monday's Israeli operation in Jenin and said it may be followed by more actions against Israelis "that will shatter their fragile state and turn the lives of their soldiers and settlers into a nightmare".

Israel blamed Iran for a large-scale military confrontation in early April when Palestinian groups aligned with the Islamic Republic launched hundreds of rockets against Israel from Gaza and Lebanon.

The Iranian regime as a Shiite Muslim political force has limited appeal with Sunni Muslims and its reach is mainly among Shiites in Middle Eastern countries, such as Iraq and Lebanon. However, it directs billions of dollars a year to finance an array of militia forces and their political networks.

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