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New Trump Crackdown Seeks to Sever Ties Between Iran, Palestinian Terrorists

Grant Rumley, Jonathan Schanzer
31st January 2018 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday a slate of new sanctions on an Iranian-backed terror organization and its top allies in the Hamas movement, according to an announcement that is being viewed as part of an effort to disrupt the Islamic Republic's terror networks operating on the border of Israel.

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Regional terror experts Jonathan Schanzer and Grant Rumley, both top figures at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a foreign-policy think-tank, viewed the new sanctions as part of a bid by the Trump administration to drive a wedge between Hamas and Iran.

"Wednesday's designation shows that despite Hamas' recent overtures towards Iran, the United States still considers the various Iranian-backed splinter groups in Gaza and the West Bank a threat," the experts wrote in an essay published in the Long War Journal.

"This is the right position," they noted. "Iran has looked to foster other actors in Gaza when frustrated with Hamas in the hopes of sparking a broader confrontation with Israel. In the West Bank, Iran and other actors have routinely tried to undermine the Palestinian Authority by creating and supporting rogue cells bent on harming Israel and destabilizing the" Palestinian Authority government.

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