Iran Pays Hamas to Hold Kidnapped Israeli Soldier

An Israeli newspaper says that Iran paid Hamas to hold on to kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit:

An Israeli newspaper says that Iran paid $50 million to the Hamas leadership in Damascus to scuttle a deal that would have led to the release of an abducted Israeli soldier.

If the report is true, it would be another sign of Tehran’s growing influence over Hamas. Although the Iranian leadership is Shiite Muslim and Hamas is Sunni Muslim, they share the common goal of destroying Israel.

Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is a regular visitor to Tehran. Last year, he pledged his support for Iran, saying that if Iran were attacked by Israel, Hamas would “expand the battlefield to Palestine.”

Several days after it appeared that a deal had been reached, an Iranian delegation arrived in Damascus and paid Mashaal $50 million on the condition that he torpedo the exchange, the report said quoting unnamed Western sources.

Hat Tip Serendip

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