By Kharon Staff
November 30, 2023
Senior Hamas representatives who operate as de facto ambassadors for the terrorist organization across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia have mobilized in support of the group following the October 7 attack on Israel and the subsequent Israeli offensive in Gaza.
These representatives have participated in mass rallies, appeared on regional and local media outlets for interviews, and endorsed fundraising campaigns for Gaza.
Hamas has been dispatching some of its members to reside abroad, including in Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia and South Africa, where they meet with local governments, rally public support for Hamas, and manage charities and other non-profit organizations.
Some of those representatives include Khaled Qadoumi in Iran and Mahmoud Zahhar in Lebanon who have both been recently sanctioned by the U.S. government. In crisis situations, Hamas calls on representatives like Qadoumi, Zahhar, and others dispersed abroad to represent the terrorist group’s interests.
One of Hamas’ global representatives is Muslim Imran, a Malaysia-based Palestinian national, who was recently listed by Hamas in a social media post as a contact that can speak on behalf of the group.
Imran has operated in Malaysia for about 20 years where he has escorted senior Hamas leaders to meetings, and written editorials in local media outlets about his support for the Qassam Brigades, which he called “the hope of the Palestinian people.”
Since the October 7 attack, Imran has spoken at various events, including one held on November 5 where he praised Hamas fighters for managing to “take out an Israeli command, [where] almost 5,000 Israeli soldiers were either killed, injured, or captured.” In his speech, Imran also called for more protests in front of American embassies.
He was one of several speakers at a November 1 event by the International Islamic University Malaysia’s Department of History and Civilization, where he discussed the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel.
Imran also works for and oversees several organizations in Malaysia, including the Asia Middle East Center and the Al-Quds Foundation Malaysia where he serves as the Secretary General.
Al-Quds Foundation Malaysia is a branch of the Al-Quds International Foundation, which was sanctioned by the U.S. government in 2012 "for being controlled by and acting for or on behalf of Hamas."
According to the U.S. government, the charity was established by Hamas leaders to raise funds for the group “through the cover of charity.”
On October 12, the Malaysian unit launched a fundraising campaign called the “Palestine Emergency Relief Fund," which solicits donations through accounts at two major Malaysian banks.
In some of its fundraising events, the campaign also accepted cash donations in boxes cloaked with the Hamas flag.
Malaysia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, hasn’t backed away from supporting Hamas. In recent weeks, Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said his country will not cut ties with Hamas or “punish” the group despite a proposed U.S. legislation that aims to sanction Hamas foreign supporters, the BBC reported.
The Asia Middle East Center, which Imran founded and where he serves as a director, often hosts webinars in which Hamas leaders participate. In May, the center held an event, the International Forum on Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where it invited Khaled Qadoumi – a Hamas representative in Iran who was sanctioned by the U.S. government on October 27.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Qadoumi, a Jordanian national, acts “as a liaison between Hamas and the Iranian government.”
He also maintains “strong relationships with Iran by attending delegation meetings with high-ranking Iranian officials and praising Iranian support for Hamas, including its provision of weapons,” the Treasury said.
In the days following the October attacks, Qadoumi endorsed a fundraising campaign for Gaza by the Global Youth Resistance Front, an Iran-based group that claims to include representatives from Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan and the West. In a social media post, Qadoumi endorsed the fundraising effort as "trusted by us [Hamas] and all groups and institutions to deliver aid to Gaza."
Lebanon and Yemen
Hamas representatives in Lebanon and Yemen have also met and engaged with leaders of Iran-backed proxies.
Osama Hamdan, a senior representative of Hamas in Lebanon, led a delegation to Iraq in late October. The group met with Qais Al Khazali, the leader of Iran-backed Asaib Ahl Al Haq (AAH) militia, to discuss the “developments taking place in the Gaza Strip, the steadfastness of the resistance, and the bravery of its men,” according to AAH’s Al Ahad News Agency.
Meanwhile in Yemen, a Hamas representative received over $500,000 raised by the Houthi movement to support "the Palestinian resistance factions,” according to statements posted on social media by the group.
The Houthi movement is donating the funds to Hamas to show its support for the "heroic mujahideen, and their valiant resistance,” according to a banner at a donation event.