Hamas' political leader Khaled Mashal arrived for a rare visit with officials in Saudi Arabia late Wednesday night, suggesting that Riyahd seeks closer relations with the Gaza-based organization in order to offset a feared increase of Iranian influence in the region.
Mashal's visit to the kingdom comes just two days after Western powers signed a deal with Iran over its nuclear deal that will eventually result in the lifting of all sanctions currently employed against the Ayatollahs.
Other Hamas officials will join Mashal in Saudi Arabia including Mashal's deputy Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook and Saleh al-Aarori, who resides in Turkey and is considered in Israel to be responsible for building and maintaining Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank.
The visit is the first of its kind in three years and Israeli officials have consistently voiced concern that an Iran free of sanctions will increase funding for groups across the Middle East, like Hamas, that want to harm Israel.
Mashal has been a strong supporter of the Saudi-Egyptian alliance and he's made public Hamas' agreement with Saudi Arabia's police of bombing Houthi rebels in Iran who are funded and armed by Iran. Hamas' leadership is divided however, and many officials within the organization have shown open support for Saudi Arabia's Iranian opponent.
Most of Iran's supporters within Hamas come from the organizations military wing, which has often depended on Iranian financial and military support to rebuild their capabilities in the Gaza Strip.