GAZA, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Hamas, ruler of the Gaza Strip, said on Wednesday that the visit of its chief Ismail Haniyeh to Iran "must not affect the ties with Egypt."
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official, said in a press statement that the Hamas leadership is not aware of any Egyptian criticism of Haniyeh's visit to Tehran to pay condolences for the killing of the senior Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.
"The visit must not influence or affect the relationship with Cairo because we are a liberation movement and we want to liberate our occupied Palestinian lands," al-Zahar said.
"We don't want to back any party against any other," he added.
Last week, Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces, were killed in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport, sparking outrage among some political factions and military wings in Gaza.
It is worth noting that the Hamas-led militants in Gaza have never denied financial and military support from Iran.
"Iran has always supported the Palestinian armed resistance groups with arms and money and it has never asked anything or political price in return," al-Zahar said.