Iran Hails Hamas 'Victory', Qatar Offers Money
Two of Hamas's major sponsors and backers, Iran and Qatar, have hailed the ceasefire agreement it reached with Israel Tuesday as a victory for the Gaza terror organization.
Iran said Wednesday that Palestinians had emerged the victors and brought their Israeli foe "to its knees" during the 50-day conflict.
"The heroic Palestinian people have forged a new era with the victory of the resistance which has brought the Zionist regime to its knees," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
"This victory prepares the way for the final liberation of all the occupied lands especially Quds (Jerusalem)," it said, congratulating the Palestinian people and the terror groups in Gaza that Iran supports.
Iran used to give Hamas over $20 million per month but scaled back its support two years ago, when Hamas sided publicly with the Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar Assad. Assad enjoys the support of Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah. There has been a recent rapprochment, however, between Hamas and Iran, which continues to actively back the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group. Weapons sent from Iran to Gaza on the Klos C vessel, which was intercepted by Israel, appear to have been meant mostly for the PIJ.
Qatar, a key backer of Hamas, hailed the Gaza ceasefire accord and offered to help rebuild the enclave battered by seven weeks of Israeli bombardment.
The accord for a long-term ceasefire was thanks "firstly to the resistance and the sacrifices" of the Palestinians, the gas-rich Gulf emirate said in a statement.
It said Qatar, which is home to Khaled Meshaal, the exiled chief of the Islamist movement Hamas, was "ready to contribute to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip as soon as possible".
The conflict, which began on July 8 when Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in a bid to stamp out cross-border rocket fire, cost the lives of 2,143 Palestinians and 70 on the Israeli side.