Feb. 12 - Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh receives pledges of support from Iran's leaders as Israel decries his visit to the Islamic state. Lindsey Parietti reports.
The leader of Hamas meets with Iranian officials in a controversial visit to Tehran. Ismail Haniyeh exchanges greetings with Iran's supreme leader, and speaks with President Mahmoud Amhmadinejad during a Middle East tour. His acceptance of Iran's invitation highlights a rift within Hamas ranks. Iranian leaders expressed their continued support for the liberation of Palestinian territories from Israel. Israeli officials including the deputy prime minister say the visit is proof Hamas is aligned with Iran against the Jewish state. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER SILVAN SHALOM SAYING: "When you watch this picture of Ahmadinejad and Ismail Haniyeh the head of the Hamas, sitting together, I think no one should have no more illusions about what the Hamas is. Both of them would like to destroy the State of Israel, both of them wouldn't like to see Israel existing and I think the time has come to realize that the fight is against all of these extremists, from the Iranians until the Hamas movement." Iran and Syria are among Hamas's chief supporters, and, according to Israel, have supplied it with weapons to use against the Jewish state. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters