Hamas leader Mahmoud A-Zahar and deputy commander of its military arm, Marwan Issa, spent the second week of September in Beirut and Tehran finalizing and signing protocols covering a binding commitment by the radical Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip to join Iran, Syria and Hizballah in a war on Israel, DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources disclose.
The protocols set out in detail the circumstances, procedures and terms governing Hamas’s participation in a conflict, whether it arises from an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program or the involvement of Iran’s allies, Syria and Hizballah, in comprehensive or partial hostilities against Israel. Hamas agreed to obey any orders to attack the Jewish state coming from Tehran, Damascus or Beirut.
Tehran also required A-Zahar and Issa to attach their signatures to copies of the military understandings Iranian National Security Director Saeed Jalili concluded with Bashar Assad during his visit to Damascus on Aug. 7. Those understandings, DEBKAfile reports, touched off the massive Iranian airlift currently carrying hundreds of military personnel and weapons day by day to the embattled Syrian regime.
Hamas’s signature provided a booster shot of 22,000 trained fighters including reservists for the battle array of elite Iranian al Qods Brigades units building up in Syria and Lebanon and taking up positions along Israel’s borders.
This buildup prompted the large-scale snap military exercise Israel staged on the Golan Wednesday, Sept. 19. Most of the forces stayed on after the exercise was over and spread out along the Syrian and Lebanese borders.
The directives Hamas leaders received in Tehran after their meetings with top officials were detailed and precise. They were handed down in person by Defense Minister Ahmed Wahidi, Revolutionary Guards Chief Gen. Ali Jafari, the Al Qods Brigades commander, Qassem Soleimani, and a select group of Iranian intelligence experts on the Israel.
Those orders were presented in the language of commands and brooked no argument. Tehran had two goals: