Palestinian Authority officials are livid over an announcement by Iran that money promised to the families of “martyrs” will not flow through the Ramallah government coffers.
It seems Iran doesn’t trust the PA government’s sticky fingers – and perhaps Tehran also wants to stir the pot between Fatah and its proxy, Hamas a bit also. Hamas as a group is more Islamist and radical in its observance than the PA government’s ruling Fatah faction; moreover, Hamas is nearly entirely under Iran’s control whereas Fatah has many backers.
The International Affairs Adviser to the Iranian Parliament Speaker and Shura Council, Hossein Sheikh al-Islam, said Saturday that Tehran will not send the financial aid to the families who have lost their members in attacks on Israelis via the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) government.
“Tehran will not send its aid package to the families of those killed … through the PA as it cannot be trusted,” Sheikh al-Islam told al-Resalah news website on Sunday, the semi-official Iranian FARS news agency reported.
Noting that Iran will dispatch its aid through a special channel, he added, “The financial aid package will be sent at the earliest; Iran doesn’t spare any efforts to support the resistance.”
Nabil Abu Rudeinah, spokesperson for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), called the Iranian move a “flagrant intrusion into internal Palestinian and Arab affairs.”
Rudeinah said “It would have been better if Iran would send its funds to the Palestinian institution responsible for Palestine’s heroes and their families, rather than resorting to crooked ways and illegal means,” according to the PA’s official WAFA news agency.
He added that al-Islam’s remarks are “unacceptable, not just [as] an overriding of the Palestinian legitimacy but a violation of all laws,” the Xinhua news agency reported.
Al-Islam’s interview with Alresalah was not spontaneous by any means: the online news site has a close link with the Hamas terror organization which controls Gaza. Hamas has become an Iranian proxy since seizing the region from the Palestinian Authority in 2007.
Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Fath’ali announced last Wednesday that Iran would pay Arab families $7,000 for each “martyr” who died attacking Israelis in Jerusalem. In addition, Iran promised to pay $30,000 to each Arab family whose home was demolished by Israel after one of its occupants murdered Israelis in a terror attack.
Although the funds are expected to be channeled through an Iranian charity it is not yet clear which one, nor how the money is to be distributed.
Hana Levi Julian