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Iran Allocates Yearly $70 Mln for Palestinian “Jihad” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Palestinian woman argues with an Israeli border policeman during a protest against Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah September 4, 2015. REUTERS

London- Iran decided to provide fixed financial support to the Palestinian Jihad Islamic Movement, has visited Tehran in April, Palestinian sources close to the movement stated.

The PIJ delegation was headed by its Secretary General Ramadan Shalah and included his assistants Ziad Nakhleh and military official of the movement Akram Ajuri. It held several public meetings with Iranian leaderships and other private meetings with the Commander of the Iranian National Guard and Commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani.

The parties discussed various files that elaborated the Iranian vision for the PIJ Movement in the coming years.

One of the major decisions taken by Qassem Soleimani and approved by the political and military offices of the Movement, according to the sources, was restructuring al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the PIJ, and assigning Khaled Mansour the general commander of the Brigades in Gazza Strip.

Notably, Mansour is considered to be one of the most prominent leaders who are close to Iran and is respected and honored by the PIJ Movement.

Soleimani also ordered allocating $70 million as an annual budget for the Quds Brigades, transferred from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s treasury.

Tehran pledged funding the movement consistently after a hiatus for two years.

PIJ’s latest visit, which was the first from two years, came as a culmination of efforts to end the boycott led by the so-called Lebanese Hezbollah. The two parties agreed in April to revive former relations.

Iranian support has been resumed since March and will resume on a wider scale in the coming period. The Movement was able to pay two months salaries for its members after several months of facing financial crisis.

According to the sources, Iran was content with its deal with the PIJ Movement and with Ramadan Shalah’s statement from Tehran confirming the country’s supportive stance with Palestine.

During a public appearance in Tehran, Islamic Jihad leader Shalah said “defending Palestine is defending Islam.”

“Transformations in some Islamic countries allowed Israel to commit many crimes against the Palestinian people without being halted by any one.”

When pointing out to Iran’s support rather than any Arab country, Shalah said: “None of the Arab countries has supported and will never support the popular uprising in Palestine due to the conflicting policies adopted by their officials in the recent years.”

He added: “We have noticed that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country that supports the uprising and helps the martyrs’ families.”

Sources considered this statement as a revival of relation between the movement and Tehran in addition to Iranian leadership’s will to direct a reproof message for Hamas after the latter rejected Mohammed Javad Zarif’s offer to resume relations with Iran in exchange for supporting it in its stances and siding with it against Arab countries.