DE RUEHJM #0888 0611333
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 021333Z MAR 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0674
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY S E C R E T JERUSALEM 000888
NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/MUSTAFA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2026
SUBJECT: IRANIAN FINANCING FOR HAMAS?
Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (S) ConGen contacts in Fatah and the PA have not been able
to confirm press reports that Iran pledged to provide USD 250
million in funding to the incoming Hamas government.
However, our contacts do agree that Hamas is reaching out to
countries such as Iran to obtain funding in the face of
Israel's decision not to transfer clearance revenues to the
Fatah Revolutionary Council Member
2. (S) Fatah Revolutionary Council Member Mohammed al-Madani
said that he believes Iran did in fact make the USD 250
million pledge during the recent Hamas visit to Tehran, but
he could not confirm when the funds would be disbursed.
Al-Madani said there are divisions within Hamas on the
desirability of Iranian funding. He said that Hamas Deputy
Political Chief Mousa Abu Marzouk, who the Associated Press
quoted in a March 1 report as denying that the Iranians had
specified an amount, is opposed to Iranian funding, which
puts him in opposition to Khaled Mishaal. Abu Marzouk favors
support coming from the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia, even if
Hamas has to compromise its political positions to receive
such funding. Al-Madani said that his Gazan sources who have
open channels with Hamas tell him that the issue has been
repeatedly debated within Hamas.
3. (S) Al-Madani went on to say that Abu Marzouk heads a
faction within Hamas advocating that the movement make the
minimum changes to its policies necessary to receive external
assistance. Al-Madani said that the March 1 remarks to the
press by Abu Marzouk are in fact the public airing of an
internal Hamas dispute. He also said that Abu Marzouk has
been working with some Saudi officials to arrange for fatwas
that would enable Hamas to moderate its political platform in
preparation for the forming of a PA government. Abu Marzouk
apparently believes that, if he is successful, he will move
Hamas closer to Quartet conditions than to the Iranian terms.
Former PLC Member Nabil Amre
4. (S) Former PLC member Nabil Amre suggested that Abu
Mazen's February 18 speech addressed the Iranian funding
issue specifically when the President warned Hamas and anyone
else against striking alliances detrimental to the
Palestinian cause. Amre said that he views the USD 250
million report as a serious one; however, he was unable to
confirm whether a specific pledge of USD 250 million was made
by Iran to Hamas. Amre also said that Fatah's experience
prior to the creation of the PA with the Iranian regime
suggests that the Iranians talk a lot and do little when it
comes to financial support. He also said he doubted that
Iran would be able to fund a Hamas-led PA for long.
5. (S) A senior member of General Intelligence (GI) told Pol
Specialist March 1 that the PA is still verifying whether a
specific pledge was actually made. However, he said that
this report did not come as a surprise and was in line with
reports GI had been gathering on the matter even before the
elections. He said the GI believes that Iran had decided to
earmark a certain proportion of its oil sales for Hamas in
the event the movement needed further funding after the
elections. He said that further meetings had been held
between Khaled Mishaal and Iranian officials and more
specific commitments were made by Iranian officials to extend
financial support to Hamas. The GI officer said that his
reading of the situation is that Hamas wants, at this point,
to keep all of its options open, but he doubted that Iran
would be able to transfer such large amounts of money into
the West Bank or Gaza.
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