Iran cuts Hamas funding over Syria: Lesson for Pakistan’s Shia clerics – by Khurram Jafri

Iran cuts Hamas funding over Syria: Lesson for Pakistan’s Shia clerics – by Khurram Jafri


In principle, LUBP has opposed the support given to Salafi-Wahhabi militant organizations like Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood by certain sections of Pakistan’s Sunni and Shia clergy.

While we have fully supported the common agenda of protesting Shia genocide and naming the Deobandi perpetrators and their Saudi backers, we have also been critical of some of the Shia clergy on these issues.

Today, we stand vindicated when Hamas’ betrayal of Iran and Syria stands exposed!

Iran cuts Hamas funding over Syria – Daily Telegraph

Iran has cut up to £15 million a month in funding for Hamas as punishment for the movement’s backing for the uprising in Syria, the Palestinian Islamist group’s leaders have admitted.

By Robert Tait, Gaza City 31 May 2013

The two former close allies have also ceased military cooperation, effectively ending a warm relationship that saw Tehran provide weapons, technical know-how and military training to Hamas fighters.

The rupture has been caused by Hamas’s refusal to toe the Iranian line by supporting President Bashar al-Assad, whose Alawite regime is religiously loosely related to the Shia Islam practiced by Iran’s ruling theocracy.

Hamas – which runs the Gaza Strip – has sided with its Sunni co-religionists trying to unseat Mr Assad, in common with other mainly Sunni countries like Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Ghazi Hamad, Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, described relations with Iran frankly as “bad” before adding: “Diplomatically, I have to use other words.”

Asked about Iranian funding, he said: “I can say it is not like the past. I cannot give you the exact amount. For supporting the Syrian revolution, we lost very much.

“I cannot deny that since 2006 Iran supported Hamas with money and many [other] things. But the situation is not like the past. I cannot say that everything is normal.”

He added: “I cannot say there is military cooperation.”

While Hamas officials have previously said they would not retaliate on Iran’s behalf if Israel attacked the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities – citing disagreements over Syria – they have previously been coy about funding from a country that is Shia and non-Arab.

Iran gave Hamas an estimated £13-15 million a month after its victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections – enough to cover its governing budget, said Dr Adnan Abu Amer, assistant professor of political science at Gaza City’s Ummah University.

Tehran still sends a “tiny amount” to maintain ties and keep its much-trumpeted support of the Palestinian cause alive, he said. But relations have been all but severed.

Hamas’ bureau in Tehran, just off the city’s main boulevard and long treated as a de facto embassy, no longer has a permanent representative and is run by a skeleton staff.

“The Iranian support for Assad was the kiss of death to the relationship,” said Dr Abu Amer, who is close to Hamas. “Hamas has lost from the disagreement financially and military and so far, no-one has replaced the Iranian support.
“Iran has lost its influence not only in Gaza but in Palestine as a whole and across the Arab world because it backed the Assad regime. Iran successfully presented itself after the 1979 Islamic Revolution as the champion of the poor and the oppressed and an opponent of imperialism and American influence. They have lost in two years what they gained in 30 and I think it won’t be properly repaired.”

Ahmed Yousef, an adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ prime minister in Gaza, called Iran’s support for Mr Assad “shocking” and accused it of acting out of “sectarian” motives.

“We never expected that a country like Iran, which talked about oppressed people and dictatorial regimes, would stand behind a dictator like Assad who is killing his own people,” he said. “To us, it shakes the basis of the Islamic principles that Iran has recited all these years after the Islamic Revolution.”

In this article, the Hizbullah has gone on record in highlighting that Hamas is now siding with Al Qaeda Salafist terrorists in Syria and Lebanon.

In the last few years, some sections of the Shia clergy have supported Hamas during the increasingly irrelevant Al Quds rallies. In these rallies, Shias protest for the Palestinians in general and Hamas in particular. In 2010, nearly 100 Shias were killed in Pakistan when Takfiri Deobandi terrorists of Sipah Sahaba (ASWJ-LeJ) attacked one such rally with bombs.

What is the point of supporting Hamas when their world-view does not even accept Shias as Muslims, attack Ashrua meeting of Shias, and when they line up behind the Free Syrian Army aka Al Nusra Front (a branch of Al Qaeda in Iraq) to kill Sunni Sufis, Shias and Christians? Just as there is no point in ever standing with bigots like Maulana Sami ul Haq Deobandi of JUI-S which Sajid Naqvi of Tehreek-e-Jafaria did from 2002 to 2007.

8 responses to “Iran cuts Hamas funding over Syria: Lesson for Pakistan’s Shia clerics – by Khurram Jafri”

  1. Fisk:
    Last week, Palestinians at that most shameful of all refugee camps – at Ein el-Hilweh in Sidon – burnt Hezbollah food parcels beside a poster which said that “we don’t want assistance soaked in the blood of the Syrian people”. Hamas, the Palestinian controllers of Gaza, abandoned Damascus after the revolution began; now Hezbollah suspects Hamas has been teaching the Sunni rebels in Syria how to fight.

    Is this why Hezbollah is losing so many men? Shia fighters returning from Qusayr are telling frightening stories; that the Sunnis burn their bodies at night so that they should not be identified, that they have new sniper rifles.

    Interestingly, a Syrian military officer told me several months ago that when the rebels storm government bases, they retrieve the bodies of their dead with grappling hooks; again, so that there should be no identification.

  2. Hezbollah fighters find Nusra’s tactics in Qusair ‘irritatingly familiar’
    May 31, 2013 01:26 AM
    By Mirella Hodeib
    The Daily Star

    Smoke rises from Arjoun and al-Dabaa, the rural northern villages of Qusair, as seen from the Lebanese al-Qasr border village, Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

    HERMEL, Lebanon: Compact trucks packed with men wearing military gear and SUVs with pictures of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah fill the narrow and damaged streets of Lebanon’s Al-Qasr, just kilometers away from Syria’s war-ravaged city of Qusair.

    Since the battle for Qusair erupted earlier this month, the Hermel village of Al-Qasr, in northeast Lebanon, has become a transit point for hundreds of Hezbollah fighters traveling to Qusair to support Syrian government forces against rebels in one of the most controversial episodes of the Syrian conflict.

    The public outcry and international condemnation of Hezbollah’s deepening involvement in the Syria battles seem to have left the party’s fighters undeterred and made them even more determined to pursue what they refer to as their “jihadi duties.”

    Hermel residents speak of “wait-lists,” because thousands of Hezbollah members and supporters are waiting to enroll in the fighting in Syria.

    “Sayyed Hasan has received thousands of letters from people soliciting his approval to join the fight in Syria,” said Mahdi, a Hezbollah fighter who asked to be referred to by a pseudonym in line with his party’s strict policy of secrecy.

    During a speech Saturday, the Hezbollah leader said thousands would respond to the party’s call for jihad, but added that not everyone was eligible to join his party’s military wing due to requirements involving family status and training.

    “Believe me, many people are really pissed off because they still haven’t been allowed to fight,” the 40-year-old Mahdi smirked.

    In his speech, Nasrallah said fighting against Syrian rebels was aimed at safeguarding the resistance and its only sponsor in the Arab region – embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad – as well as defending all Lebanese communities against hard-line Islamist “tafkiri” groups.

    Those, like Mahdi, who have fought in Syria, acknowledge that the Syrian rebels have been capable fighters and that for the first time, Hezbollah is facing an enemy of the same ideological caliber and with the same kind of training.

    “One must say that they are very well trained and very well-equipped,” Mahdi said. “They own state-of-the-art sniper guns; this is how they’ve hunted down our fallen comrades.”

    The frequency of funerals for Hezbollah fighters who have died in Syria significantly increased after the battle of Qusair. Countless posters of “Hezbollah martyrs” line the north-south Bekaa Valley highway that leads to Baalbek.

    Coffins wrapped in the party’s yellow flag are being laid to rest in the Baalbek region and south Lebanon on a near-daily basis, and the funeral ceremonies are referred to as “weddings” for the fallen fighters.

    “We must celebrate the martyrdom of those who died,” said Jawad, 30, a fighter who recently returned from Qusair and earlier saw duty guarding the Sayyida Zeinab shrine in Damascus. “God honored them by choosing them to die while fighting for a righteous cause.” Jawad maintained that the rebel Free Syrian Army was “totally powerless,” arguing that the extremist Nusra Front was leading the fighting.

    “They [rebels] are powerful not only because they apparently have very good training and very sophisticated weaponry,” Jawad said, citing the brutality of Chechen fighters among the ranks of the Nusra Front.

    “Nusra is strong because [the fighters] are fearless. I can sense that from the way they launch raids against us,” Jawad continued. “It’s like they really don’t care if they die. They are ruthless and fearless.”

    Both Jawad and Mahdi confirmed that many of their comrades were killed in ambushes that were strikingly similar to tactics Hezbollah originally devised when it fought the Israeli army in south Lebanon during the occupation and later on during the 2006 summer war.

    “There’s a kind of irritating familiarity,” Jawad noted. “Hezbollah taught Hamas all those tactics to fight the Israelis. Hamas apparently decided to transfer their experience to takfiri groups.”

    This demonstrates, according to Jawad, that Hezbollah did not have a sectarian agenda.

    “We transferred our experience to a Sunni group – Hamas – and they used it train groups that are now fighting us,” he said.

    Hamas, a long-term ally of Assad, shifted sides soon after the uprising erupted, leaving its Damascus headquarters and later openly pledging support to the rebels.

    Signs of a rift between the two former allies are slowly becoming palpable in Lebanon too. Tension is increasingly surfacing between the Beirut southern suburbs, the party’s stronghold, and the surrounding refugee camps Sabra, Shatila, and Burj al-Barajneh.

    In the past month, the tranquility of the southern suburbs and its neighboring camps has been repeatedly breached by shootouts between Shiite and Palestinian gunmen.

    Abbas, a member of the pro-Assad popular committees in the string of border villages located in Syria but inhabited by Lebanese Shiites, said the battle was imposed on Hezbollah.

    “Rebels terrorized, threatened and attacked us, but Hezbollah begged us to keep our composure until they started launching rockets at Hermel,” said Abbas, 45. “If Hezbollah hadn’t intervened at some point we would have taken up arms and supported the Syrian army to get rid of [the rebels].”

    He said Hezbollah’s policy was to fight the rebels inside Syria so as to avoid cross-border fighting.

    “The borders are quasi nonexistent,” he said. “Imagine if neighbors started shooting at each other from each side of the border. Fighting would be uncontrollable and then we’d be facing a real disaster.”

    When they were in Qusair, the Hezbollah fighters, who were interviewed separately in Beirut and Hermel, said some of the practices of the Nusra Front fighters left them “speechless.”

    Besides the booby-trapped hideouts they leave behind, Nusra fighters have a disconcerting night-time ritual, they said.

    “At night they burn the corpses that have accumulated during the day,” Abbas said.

    “I still can’t find an explanation for this: What are they trying to do? Why are they hiding the identities of their fighters?” Jawad wondered.

    Asked whether they felt they betrayed their initial cause by fighting fellow Arabs and Muslims in Syria instead of focusing their efforts against their primary enemy, Israel, Mahdi was categorical: “Israel and takfiris pose the exact same danger.”

    While Jawad acknowledged that the comparison between Hezbollah’s roles in Syria and Israel was legitimate, he said his party was fighting for an equally crucial cause.

    “Takfiris have no respect for the land or for human dignity. They are doing monstrous things,” Jawad said. “At least Israelis put our martyrs in coffins and number them.”

    A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 31, 2013, on page 1.

    Read more:
    (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

  3. Can somebody explain to me, what is importance of Al-Quds to Shias?
    Aflatoon, will be grateful?