Hamas has denied a startling accusation by a former Iraqi official that it has deployed ballistic missiles aimed at Gulf states, according to the Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Ayad Allawi, vice president of Iraq from 2014 to 2015, told the Iraqi Al-Sharqiya network that Israel discovered and photographed the missile pads in the Gaza Strip.
“According to the information I have, the Israeli intelligence has discovered and taken photos of the missile pads after the Israelis attacked Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “They handed the photos of the ballistic and other missiles to the Americans.”
“The missile pads in the Gaza Strip, Syria and Iran are directed towards the Gulf states,” he said. “The Americans have seen the photos. I heard this from an important American official with whom I recently met. He told me this in the presence of two other Iraqis.”
Senior Hamas official Salah Bardaweel accused him of parroting charges dictated to him by “Zionists.”
“We don’t direct our weapons against our own chest,” Bardaweel said on Twitter. “What happened to the Arab officials?”
Palestinian political analyst Ashraf Saleh was quoted as saying that if Iranian-made ballistic missiles are in Gaza, they would be in the possession of the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad, not Hamas.
“At this phase, Hamas is working to normalize its relations with all Arab regimes,” Saleh said. “It’s not in Hamas’s interest to have hostile relations with the Arab regimes.”