After Hamas had rejected
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s offer to revamp ties in exchange for an
exclusive pledge of allegiance to Iran’s strategic regional goals, a visit of a
high profile Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ) delegation headed by its Secretary General Ramadan Shalah to
Tehran last April put an end to two years of strained relations between PIJ and
its long-time state sponsor, Iran.
Asharq Al-Awsat reported that a
series of public and private meetings between PIJ, the Iranian leadership, and
the Commander of both the Iranian National Guard and Quds Force, the armed wing
of the PIJ, Qassem Suleimani, led to the appointment of Khaled Mansour as general
commander of the Quds Brigades in the Gaza Strip. Mansour is a well-respected
PIJ senior officer close to the Iranian leadership. However, even more significant
than the appointment of an Iran-sponsored director of operations in a critical
theater for PIJ is the financial deal that was closed during the visit. By express
order of Suleimani, $70 million from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s treasury
will now be designated as an annual budget for the Quds Brigades.
From Asharq Al-Awsat:
“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.
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
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’