In a Jan. 6 speech in Tehran that aired on Lebanon’s Mayadeen TV, Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh offered his condolences to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, to the Iranian leadership and to the Iranian people for the Jan. 3 killing by the United States of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

Haniyeh praised Soleimani for his role in building up the Palestinian “resistance,” and said that the Americans’ “heinous crime” reflected the “arrogant and thuggish spirit” that covers for “the massacres in the blessed land of Palestine.”

Assassinations such as that of Soleimani, he said, only make Muslims more determined to move forwards towards the liberation of Jerusalem, Palestine and the will of the Islamic nation.

Haniyeh added that Soleimani is “a martyr for Jerusalem.”

The following are excerpts from his speech:

Ismail Haniyeh: “[I have come] to offer our condolences to the Leader Ali Khamenei, and to the Islamic Republic of Iran—its leaders, its government and its people—for the martyrdom of the commander Qassem Soleimani, may Allah have mercy on his soul.


“We stand here today in order to express our sincere feelings towards a dear brother, a leader, a martyr who provided Palestine and the resistance with what enabled it to attain the power, steadfastness and devotion it has today.


“This heinous crime committed by the Americans reflects the criminal, arrogant and thuggish spirit that covers for all the massacres, and specifically, the massacres in the blessed land of Palestine.


“The spirit of criminality that revealed itself with the murder of the martyr and leader Soleimani is what gave the cover for the crimes and the spirit of criminality of the Zionist occupation to murder the leaders of the resistance in Palestine and outside Palestine.


“The entire world should reject and condemn this heinous crime and punish those who committed it.


“I say that the enterprise of resistance in Palestine and in the region will never weaken and it will never retreat. The assassinations only make us more powerful, steadfast and determined to move forward towards the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine, and towards the liberation of the will of this Islamic nation, Allah willing.


“I would like to end my words on this mighty occasion by saying that the martyr and leader Soleimani, who spent his life supporting the resistance as the head of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, by virtue of all that he has done is a martyr for Jerusalem. He is a martyr for Jerusalem, he is a martyr for Jerusalem!”

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