Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Tehran Iran 390 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
Iran is funding some Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip so that they can thwart
efforts to achieve reconciliation with Fatah, Azzam al- Ahmed, a member of the
Fatah central committee, said on Saturday.
Ahmed’s charges came in
response to the visits of two top Hamas leaders, Mahmoud Zahar and Ismail
Haniyeh, to Iran in the past few weeks.
“Iran does not want the
Palestinians to end their divisions,” Ahmed told the Lebanese newspaper
. “Iran is responsible for foiling attempts to achieve
reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.”
Relations between Hamas and Iran
were strained recently following the Islamist movement’s refusal to support
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ruthless crackdown on his
Relations between Hamas and Tehran suffered another setback
with the signing of the Qatari-brokered reconciliation pact between Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.
bid to ease tensions, Zahar and Haniyeh visited Tehran separately in the past
few weeks, assuring the Iranian leaders that Hamas has not abandoned the armed
struggle against Israel despite the deal with Fatah.
Ahmed admitted in
the interview that efforts to implement the reconciliation pact have reached an
impasse. He blamed Iran for “inciting” Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip against
rapprochement with Fatah.
“Iran has apparently played a role in inciting
Hamas leaders against the reconciliation agreement,” he charged. “Iran is
playing a negative role with regards to the Fatah-Hamas
The Fatah official added that Iran has provided
financial aid to Haniyeh in return for his opposition to the Qatari-brokered
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denounced the allegations as
“trivial.” He accused Ahmed of seeking to escalate tensions with Hamas and
reiterated his movement’s readiness to instantly implement the reconciliation
Meanwhile, Abbas told a visiting Jordanian parliamentary
delegation on Friday that “small obstacles” were preventing the establishment of
a Palestinian unity government, as envisaged by the reconciliation
“I don’t want to go into details, but there are some small problems
facing the formation of a unity government dominated by technocrats,” the PA
president was quoted as saying.
Abbas nevertheless expressed hope that
the two sides would be able to overcome the obstacles.