The website of the Al-Mayadeen television channel, which is affiliated with the resistance axis, recently posted a letter from Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Qods Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), to Muhammad Deif, commander of Hamas’s military wing, the ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades. In the letter, sent before Soleimani’s death in January 2020 in a U.S. airstrike, the Iranian commander conveyed his greetings to Hamas’s fighters and to the Palestinian people as a whole, and promised them that Iran will not abandon them under any circumstances. He added that “the death knell of the invading Zionists will soon be heard,” and expressed hope to die as a martyr for the sake of Palestine.
This letter is further evidence of the close relations between Iran, which calls for the annihilation of Israel, and Hamas, and in particular of the ties between Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Qassam Brigades commander Muhammad Deif.
It should be noted that Hamas officials have recently made many statements in praise of the Iranian regime and its ties with their movement. On May 20, 2020, in a speech on the occasion of Qods Day – a day of solidarity with Jerusalem and the Palestinians marked by Iran on the last Friday of Ramadan – Isma’il Haniya, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, said that “Iran has never hesitated to support the resistance and assist it financially, militarily and technologically.” Haniya’s deputy, Saleh Al-‘Arouri, said in an interview with the Al-Mayadeen channel that “the relations between Hamas and Iran are strong” and that “Iran has given Hamas and the resistance movements all the support and weapons they need.” He revealed that, during the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza war, Soleimani was present in Hamas’s military operations room in Damascus, and noted that Soleimani’s successor, Esmail Ghaani, was “maintaining the coordination and assistance to the Palestinian resistance.” Hamas’s representative in Iran, Khaled Al-Qadoumi, said in an interview with a Hamas-affiliated website that, “via its ties with Iran, Hamas strives to establish that the Zionist enemy is the common enemy of the entire Arab and Islamic nation.”
The letter on the Al-Mayadeen website (almayadeen.net, May 19, 2020)
The following is a translation of Soleimani’s letter to Deif, as posted on the Al-Mayadeen website:
“My dear brother, the great jihad fighter, living martyr and brave resistance fighter, general commander of the Martyr ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, [Muhammad] Abu Khaled Deif, may God protect and strengthen you…
“[I convey my] heartfelt greetings to, and deep longing for, the battle-ready jihad fighters of the purest [battle]front, for which millions of hearts weep with yearning. May God’s mercy and will be with the courageous Palestinian people, who carry deep sorrow and suppressed pain in their hearts due to their many wounds, in the face of the oppressive siege and the enemies’ barbaric attack [carried out] in plain sight of the hundreds of millions of Muslims [around the world].
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“Greetings [also] to the jihad and resistance fighter [Hamas political bureau head Isma’il] Haniya and to his loyal supporters who declare from Gaza their steadfastness and call for jihad, out of faith and with their eyes yearning for the dawning of victory.
“Rest assured that, no matter how much the pressures and the siege upon it increase, Islamic Iran will not leave Palestine – the pearl of the Islamic world, the Muslims’ first direction of prayer and the place of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven – alone [in the fray].
“Defending Palestine our honor and glory, and we will not relinquish this religious duty for any of the pleasures and frivolities of this world.
“The friends and supporters of Palestine are our friends and supporters, and its enemies are our enemies. This has been our policy in the past, and so it shall remain.
“The defense of Palestine is the real proof that one is defending Islam and the Quran; one who hears your call and does not come to your aid is not a Muslim.
“With God’s permission and help, the dawn of victory will soon come, and its refreshing breezes will stir the soul, as the death knell of the invading Zionists will be heard.
“We hope for the day on which God will permit us to stand by your side and lead us to [realize] our perpetual hope to die as martyrs for the sake of Palestine.
“Your brother, Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani.”
 On this year’s Qods Day, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1514, Iranian Regime Marks Qods Day 2020 With Antisemitism, Blood Libels, And Calls For Destruction Of Israel, May 21, 2020.
 Alahednews.com.lb, May 20, 2020.
 Raialyoum.com, May 21, 2020. For a clip of his statements, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 8014, “Saleh Al-Arouri, Deputy Head of Hamas Political Bureau: There Will Be an Intifada Very Soon; Qasem Soleimani Had Been Very Active in Supporting Our Fight against Israel”, May 21, 2020.
 Palinfo.com, May 22, 2020.
 Almayadeen.net, May 19, 2020.