'Anyone who celebrated Qasem Soleimani's killing is a Zionist traitor,' says Hamas leader

'Anyone who celebrated Qasem Soleimani's killing is a Zionist traitor,' says Hamas leader
Speaking at an event commemorating the second anniversary of Qasem Soleimani's death, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar said that all who celebrated the Iranian general's killing are 'Zionist traitors of the Arab world'.
2 min read
05 January, 2022
Mahmoud Al-Zahar made his remarks at the event in Gaza [Getty]

A Hamas leader has said that anyone who celebrated the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by the US in January 2020 will be remembered as "Zionist traitors of the Arab world".

At an event in Gaza commemorating the second anniversary of Soleimani's death, Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar blamed his death on the "machine of Christian Zionism".

Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January 2020.

"Those who rejoiced his death will be remembered as the deviants and the Zionist traitors of the Arab world," Al-Zahar said.

"We remember Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, which was not given an Iranian name, or an Arabic name, or a name in Farsi, he named it Al-Quds, because he knows the importance of Jerusalem and knows it is in the heart of all Muslims," Al-Zahar said.

Al-Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem.

He used the word shawath which is used to describe "deviants" and "abnormal people", but is also known colloquially as a homophobic slur, although in this context it seems to have been taken out of meaning.

Arab activists mocked Al-Zahar's words on social media, some sharing an image of an LGBT flag that had featured his face edited in the middle.

Soleimani led the Quds Force, an Iranian expeditionary force that fought in Iraq and Syria, and provides support to Tehran's proxies in the region.

Soleimani was popular with some in Iran and the wider region but was reviled by many more for the military support his forces provided to Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad.