From Gaza to Tehran: Terrorist Leaders Meet with Iranian Officials

Tehran was visited by the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad

In Tehran, on March 26, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyya and Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad al-Nahala met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Both men were born in the Gaza Strip and have a history of involvement in terrorist activities.

Ismail Haniyya was born in 1963 in the Shaati Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza. He graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza in Arabic literature and joined the new Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) in 1987. After being deported to South Lebanon by Israeli authorities in 1992, he returned to Gaza a year later and began working at the Islamic University. In 2004, following the assassinations of Hamas leaders Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, he became head of the Hamas government in Gaza. In 2017, he was elected as the new head of the Hamas politburo and his tenure was extended in August 2021.

Ziyad al-Nahala was born in Khan Yunis, a city located south of Gaza Strip, in 1953. After being released from prison in 1985, he joined the Islamist terrorist organization Islamic Jihad and participated in the first intifada. In April 2018, he became Secretary General of Islamic Jihad following his predecessor’s death. Al-Nahala is considered one of the most wanted terrorists by US authorities and has accounts frozen globally. There is currently a reward for information leading to his capture.

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