While the Iranian threat against Israel has come to the international forefront as of late – with Iranian operatives killed in an airstrike on Hezbollah in Syria and the U.S. debating further sanctions on Iran – the threat is not new to Israel. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh says that Iran is working hard to achieve its goal of encircling Israel:
As U.S. President Barack Obama continues to seek a negotiated deal on Iran's nuclear program, the Iranians have been working hard in recent weeks to infiltrate the Palestinian arena and re-establish ties with their erstwhile ally, Hamas.
Emboldened by Obama's obsession with the nuclear negotiations, which are set to resume next month, Iran's leaders apparently trust that the Obama Administration is prepared to turn a blind eye to whatever they do. So the Iranians are apparently feeling free to meddle once again in the internal affairs of the Palestinians, to strengthen their hand still further in the Middle East. With bases in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, Iran has surrounded Saudi Arabia and all the oil fields of the Persian Gulf.
This encirclement can be comfortably backed with Iran's ongoing nuclear weapons program. Tehran's main goal is to regain control over the Palestinian Islamist movement so that it can turn itself into a player in the Israeli-Arab conflict. The Iranians already have Hezbollah sitting on Israel's northern border. All they need now is another terror group in Gaza to the south, in order to create a similar encirclement. And they are working hard to achieve this goal …
Iran and Hamas need each other badly. Iran wants Hamas because it does not have many Sunni allies left in the region. An alliance with Hamas would enable Iran to rid itself of charges that it is leading a Shiite camp fighting against the Sunnis. Hamas, for its part, is desperate for any outside support, especially in wake of its increased isolation in the Palestinian and international arenas. Hamas is also beginning to feel the heat at home in light of its failure to rebuild the Gaza Strip after last summer's war with Israel.
Hamas leaders are now hoping that Iran will resume its financial aid to the movement and avoid a situation where Palestinians might revolt against it … Hamas leaders say they have taken a "strategic" decision to restore their ties with Iran. Ismail Haniyeh, the former prime minister of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, announced recently that his movement is working toward establishing "open relations" with Iran. Another Hamas leader, Osama Hamdan, announced that the differences between his movement and Iran have been resolved …
The Hamas-Iran rapprochement is yet another sign of Tehran's effort to use its allies in the Middle East to destroy Israel. Hamas leaders are now hoping that Iran will resume not only its financial aid to their movement, but the supply of weapons as well. Iran is not interested in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip or providing shelter to thousands of Palestinian families who lost their homes during the last war. The only thing Iran is interested in there is turning Hamas into another Iranian-backed army that would be used to attack Israel.
This is all happening at a time when the Obama Administration is busy preparing for another round of talks with Iran over its nuclear program. It is obvious by now that Tehran is using these negotiations to divert attention from its efforts to deepen its involvement in the Middle East, with the hope of taking over the oil fields and eliminating Israel.