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Saudi gamble on Hamas could pay off, or enrich rival Iran

The Saudis are increasing pressure on Hamas, which might win them points with US President Donald Trump and Israel, but drive the Palestinian movement and its allies toward Iran.
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures during a news conference in Gaza City May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem - RTS166IF

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Relations between Saudi Arabia and Hamas have been teetering on the brink of complete collapse in light of recent stances by Saudi officials and media outlets against the Palestinian movement.

The Saudi daily Al-Riyadh called the Palestinian movement "terrorist" in the headline of a website story the day after a Hamas delegation attended the Aug. 4 inauguration ceremony of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The website soon removed the story, however, after it prompted a storm of angry tweets, especially in response to Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee, who took to Twitter to support the terrorist label for Hamas.

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