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PIJ Movement: ‘Our Policy is to Distance Palestine from Axes’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ali Khamenei in a meeting with Secretary General of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Ramadan Shalah in Tehran

London-Palestinian Islamic Jihad Spokesman Daoud Shihab rejected what Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper has published regarding Iran’s plan to fund the movement on an annual basis; however, he later contradicted his statements by asserting that “Tehran’s support” is not an offense.

Shihab said in statements published on the movement’s websites and other local ones that whoever is responsible for publishing this article is trying to present the movement as an ally to a specific party in the region in light of the attraction and axes situation in the region, which contradicts with the movement’s policy that always stress on distancing Palestine from any axis.

Shihab added: “The timing Asharq Al-Awsat has chosen to publish this article coincides with the visit of the movement’s delegation to Cairo and aimed at hindering the movement’s efforts with the Egyptians to reduce the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza Strip.”

He continued: “Many parties are annoyed by the movement’s national role it is playing in the region and therefore, they are trying to question its independence and raise allegations suggesting the interference of others in its internal affairs and decisions.”

Shihab was commenting on what Asharq Al-Awsat has published earlier on Wednesday quoting Palestinian sources close to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement regarding what happened in the visit of its delegation to Tehran in April and resulted in regaining Tehran’s financial support following a two-year boycott.

The article explained that Iran decided to cut funding the movement after the latter refused to support Iran in its rivalry against Arab countries following the lunch of “Decisive storm” in Yemen.

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 Gaza Strip.
Sources also told Asharq Al-Awsat that reviving relations between Tehran and Jihad is on the way, and they confirmed Iran’s financial support to the movement.

They added that Iranian funding 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.

In its latest visit, according to the sources, the delegation was headed by its Secretary General Ramadan Shalah, who 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.”

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

For his part, Shihab denied Iran allocating $70 million for Palestinian “Jihad” and denounced this information saying that these rumors aim at inciting Palestinians, who suffer from hunger and poverty, against the opposition, which is represented by most of the Palestinians who reject Iran’s intervention in Syria.

Nevertheless, Shihab contradicted his statements implicitly by explaining that Iran supports PIJ Movement and confirming that this support should not be considered as an offense.

The real offense, he said, is for those who turn their backs to the Palestinians and their opposition and who do not support the besieged country and its afflicted citizens.