The Arab world and the streets in the Gaza Strip expressed rage following the posting of huge posters on the city’s main streets featuring a picture of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Al-Qods Force of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) who was assassinated by the US a year ago.
In the Gaza Strip, Soleimani ‘s pictures were spray-painted, ripped down, and residents are tweeting condemnation of him and Hamas.
The posters, marking the first anniversary of his assassination, are provoking great anger on social media across the Arab world as journalists, commentators and bloggers are condemning Hamas for choosing to show in its streets the image of “the one responsible for killing women and children, including Palestinians in the refugee camps in Syria, during the civil war.”
Similar criticism was voiced when Ismail Haniya, the leader of Hamas, attended Soleimani’s funeral in Tehran.
Social activists from the Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned Hamas’ sympathetic approach to Iran, which funds and supports the terror organization. The picture has shocked activists and bloggers who oppose Hamas’ appeal to the Iranian regime at the expense of the Arab countries.
Surfers accused Hamas of treason and stated that its affiliation with Iran is no less serious than the peace agreements between Israel and Arab countries.
“Normalization is treason and the rise of Qasem Soleimani in Gaza is a betrayal of the people and the blood spilled in Syria and Iraq.”
One surfer accused Hamas of being a “partner of the one who washes its hands in the blood of the Syrian children who were murdered by Soleimani.”
Maria Malouf, a Lebanese journalist who opposes Hezbollah, tweeted against Hamas and Islamic Jihad and accused them of “taking the image of Soleimani from his grave while appreciating the killing and wounding of millions of Syrians, Yemenis, Iraqis and Lebanese, destroying their homes and displacing them.”
Faisal al-Qassem, a senior member of Al Jazeera, tweeted that “following the huge picture of Qasem Soleimani in the streets of Gaza, a question to the gentlemen there, ‘Do you now expect the Arab street to identify with you and your targets?’ When it sees that you are erecting statues for the murderers of Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis, and Lebanese? All that remains is for Hamas to join the Qods Force and liberate Palestine from Falluja to Idlib, how can you desecrate your faded streets with a murderer, criminal, thug and terrorist like Soleimani!?”
Qassem added that “it is customary to say that Iran has captured four Arab capitals and now it is clear that there are five capitals (Gaza). We congratulate the “brothers” in Hamas for joining the group of five major countries.”
“Despite his crimes and the slaughter of Palestinians in the Yarmouk camp and the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis and Yemenis, Hamas militias hung a picture of the Iranian Qods Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, on the streets of Gaza to confirm their affiliation with the Iranian Mullah regime,” another social media user wrote.
Sunni surfers came out against Hamas for choosing to associate itself with the revolutionary Shiite camp, in exchange for greed for money, and others condemned it because it has become “completely Iranian,” a Sunni movement that has taken on the patronage of the Shiite Iranian regime.
Another surfer wrote that “posting a picture of the killer Soleimani is a disgrace and a valuable service to those who are working to demonize the Palestinians and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“I swear to God: the traitor remains a traitor, Hamas is a cursed cancer that is spreading in Gaza, the residents of Gaza have been taken hostage and their blood traded, Hamas is not Islamic, whether you like it or not,” a post on Twitter stated.
Other derogatory remarks were made about the transformation of Gaza into a “Persian entity detached from any Palestinian Arab symbol” and many surfers, including in the PA and the Gaza Strip, condemned Hamas for selling the Gaza Strip and its Palestinians to Iran, in exchange for the money that is given to its military arm and not its residents who are now expected to suffer from the boycott that rich Arab countries will impose on the Gaza Strip.
One of the surfers asked: “in light of the image of the Arab killer in the skies of Gaza, is there still any doubt about the filth of the Persian Hamas leadership?”
The large military exercise that Hamas conducted on Tuesday alongside the other terror groups in the Gaza Strip also highlights the strong connection between Hamas, and Iran and sources in the Gaza Strip say that it was coordinated with the Iranians.
The exercise was also condemned by elements in the Gaza Strip. Surfers suggested that Hamas should give the exercise the name “The Great Iranian Maneuver.”
On the other hand, Hamas spokesmen and activists boast that the connection between the organization and the Iranian regime has become very intimate in recent years, a source of military power.
A Hamas supporter wrote in his account that “the poster shows the strength of relations between Hamas and Revolutionary Guards leaders.”
The remarks made by Mahmoud al-Zahar a few days ago, a senior Hamas official who is considered a supporter of the organization’s “Iranian option,” regarding the receipt of suitcases with money from Soleimani also testify to the strength of relations between Hamas and Iran.
Al-Zahar described a meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad in 2006 during which he sought assistance and was referred to Soleimani.
“I found $22 million in a number of bags at the airport,” said the senior Hamas official, “but we were only nine people there and we could not carry more weight, because each bag weighed 40 kilos.”
Al-Zahar provoked a wave of criticism after giving the title “holy martyr” in reference to Soleimani and because he described him as “loyal to the liberation of Palestine.”
Many residents of the Gaza Strip expressed concern that Hamas is cutting off Gaza from the moderate Sunni world, which could lead to a complete cessation of the remnants of Arab aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip.
“Hamas has chosen to belong to the Shiite Iranian axis after a long internal debate, and to cut itself off from the moderate Sunni camp,” said a source in the Gaza Strip,
“This step will take a heavy toll on the residents of the Gaza Strip, who will still miss the money from the Gulf,” he added.
A Saudi surfer wrote in response to a Hamas supporter in Gaza that “your hatred has made you ignore what we have done for Palestine from 48 to now, we have been paying for you from our youth, and all the expenses are on Saudi Arabia, which rehabilitated Gaza, while the Houthis [Iran’s allies] are in Sanaa and Soleimani curses Sunni Muslims and says that Aisha [Muhammad’s third wife] was an adulteress “