TEHRAN, Iran, (AP) – Hamas’ exiled leader says Iran played a big role in helping the militant group during Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
The Palestinian group’s political leader, Khaled Mashaal, met with Iran’s president Monday during a visit to thank the country for its support. Israel accuses Iran of supplying weapons to Hamas, which has battered southern Israel with rockets. Iran denies the charge and says it only gives the group money.
Iran’s state TV reports Mashaal told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Iran played a role in what he called the “victory of Gaza’s people.” Mashaal did not elaborate.
Israel’s 22-day offensive in the Palestinian territory ended about two weeks ago with a cease-fire that has been tested by recent militant rocket fire.