Iran promises Palestinians $50m after complaint by Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal
He said Saturday: “We are waiting for assistance from the Iranian government and replies to our requests. But till now we have received nothing.”
debkafile: Since the US, Europe and Israel cut off the flow of aid to the Palestinians, officials of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority are making the rounds of their allies in a desperate quest for cash to pay wages and keep their government afloat. They have met with tight fists.
In Tehran, Hamas’ Damascus-based supreme leader Khaled Meshaal voiced his frustration when the Iranian hosts of a worldwide conference in support of the Palestinians lavished embraces on the Palestinians and curses on Israel – but did not part with a cent until the closing minutes of the meeting.
He reiterated that his organization would never recognize Israel. In the southern Gaza town of Khan Younes, 50 armed Palestinian policemen blocked off the main road in protest over salary delays. Police wearing masks also took over the local legislature building in Gaza City, demanding their pay checks.
debkafile‘s Iranian sources disclose that the Islamic republic has set a price for financial aid: the Hamas military arm, Ezza-e Din al-Qassam, is required to establish a joint command with Hizballah and the Jihad Islami and resume its terrorist and missile campaigns against Israel.
However, ending its year-long truce would not suit Hamas’ aspirations for recognition as the legitimate Palestinian government rather than just a radical terrorist group and isolate it still further.
Palestinian foreign minister Mahmoud a-Zahar is on a separate fund-raising tour of Arab capitals. He is trying to call up the aid pledged by Arab rulers at the Khartoum summit earlier this month. Saturday, April 15. the Hamas official met the Arab League secretary Amr Moussa in Cairo, after Egyptian officials were too busy to receive him. Moussa told a-Zahar Hamas should accept the 2002 Arab League resolution moved in Beirut by Saudi Arabia, which proposed normal relations with Israel in return for its withdrawal to the 1967 lines and acceptance of a Palestinian state. A-Zahar sidestepped the suggestion.
Hamas’ only ray of light came from Moscow. Friday, April 14, foreign minister Sergey Ivanov promised PA chairman Abu Mazen that Russia would very soon relay financial assistance to the Palestinian government. This step would shatter the anti-terrorist front posed by Washington, Brussels, Jerusalem and the Middle East Quartet. But Lavrov argued that the only way to make Hamas toe the line set by the international community to recognize Israel and renounce violence would be to work with – rather than boycotting – the new Palestinian regime.