By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 14, 2006
“We are continuing in Khomeini’s path,” HAMAS leader Khaled Mashaal declared on March 1, 2006, while in Iran for another of his many recent visits. Mashaal emphasized that HAMAS is the spiritual offspring of the Ayatollah Khomeini—a surprising reaffirmation that the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence extends to Shiite Iran, not only to Sunni organizations.
Mashaal’s statement should have come as no surprise, considering the February 22 public reassurance of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad: â€œSince the divine treasures are infinite, you [HAMAS] should not be concerned about economic issues.”
The MB heavily influenced Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who developed the Iranian version of their ideology in the 1970s. Khomeini adhered to the teaching of Egyptian MB spiritual leader Sayyid Qutb and followed the lead of Muhammad Navab-Safavi, who fled from Iran to Egypt and was an MB guest donate a quarter of their income to HAMAS.
Iran followed suit, and according to Palestinian sources, intends to invest heavily in large West Bank and Gaza projects, to provide â€œhumanitarian aid” to eliminate the deficit in the P.A. Some of this money, according to these sources, will be channeled to shahids injured in the Intifada. Iran’s assistance is geared towards strengthening HAMAS’ civilian infrastructure, to help spread the Islamic revolution. “This is a divine mission. We will never allow the world to starve the Palestinian people,” Iranian leaders promised Mashaal during his March 1 visit to Tehran.
On March 2, Ramallah residents were surprised to find pamphlets widely distributed, declaring the establishment of the first “Shiite Islamic Supreme Council” in Palestine. This organization will act as Iran’s Palestinian arm and is “the cornerstone of the global Islamic plan to establish the Caliphate, with holy Jerusalem as its capital,” the pamphlets stated.
Subsequent news reports confirm the announcement of the first Shiite organization in the PA. A member of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group long imprisoned by Israel, Muhamad Gawanmeh, heads Iran’s new Shia Council in Palestine. He told reporters, “We want the Palestinian people to be exposed to the Iranian heritage and Shia principles. (Our goal is) to reinforce the relations between the Islamic republic of Iran and the Palestinian people. We are part of the Iranian Islamic project in the Middle East.”
The ties between HAMAS and Iran strengthened in 1990 after HAMAS emerged as key force and motivator in the Intifada behind the Islamic resurgence in the Palestinian territories. In late December that year, Tehran hosted an Islamic conference on Palestine, to which the mullahs invited a Hamas delegation. The contacts between the Sunni and Shiite anti-Zionists grew in October 1991, at the same time as exploratory peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in Madrid. To counter these talks, Iran hosted another, international conference to support the Palestinian Islamic revolution. Since then, HAMAS terrorists reportedly received training in Iran.
Fast forward to March 6, at Hizballah headquarters in Beirut. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Hizballah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, met to forge cooperation in defiance of last September’s U.N. Resolution 1559. The U.N. Resolution called for the dismantling of all Palestinian terror groups including HAMAS and Hizballah.
After the meeting Mashaal and Nasrallah issued a joint statement affirming their united efforts to continue their terror activities against Israel. “Agreement was reached that the resistance and steadfastness option is the only option in confronting the current pressure,” the statement read.
Mashaal praised the “strong” relationship with Hizballah. “We are partners in this march … [and] have hope that all of Palestine will be liberated.” Hizballah, Iran’s international terrorist extension, has been documented to funnel money and arms from Iran to HAMAS and all other Palestinian terror groups, including Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Meanwhile Iran has promised to transfer $250 million to HAMAS, and called upon all Arab/Muslim nations to contribute to HAMAS to support the Muslim victory over Israel. Indeed, senior Hamas official Khalil Abu Laila declared, “Hamas’ victory belongs to all Muslim nations. Of course Iran has a part in the triumph.”
Palestinian sources revealed that HAMAS, already “flushed with funds from Iran, has been pressing families and armed factions to join the military.”
If allowed to continue, the current course of Iran and HAMAS will very shortly make the 13 years of Oslo-era Palestinian terror, led by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, look like child’s play. Based on the words of their leaders, Iranian and HAMAS terror will be catastrophic. This would render President Bush’s policy and legacy–spreading democracy throughout the Middle East–a complete disaster.
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