August 18, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10146

Arab Journalists: Palestinian Factions' Alliance With Iran Is A Grave Error For Which Gazans Pay With Their Lives

August 18, 2022
Iran, Palestinian Authority | Special Dispatch No. 10146

Following the latest round of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza, Arab journalists castigated the Palestinian factions, especially the PIJ and Hamas, for their alliance with Iran. They called this alliance an "unforgivable error" that allows Iran to control the decision-making in Gaza, use it as a bargaining chip in its nuclear negotiations with the West and drag it into confrontations with Israel for which Gazans pay with their lives. Iran's exploitation of the Palestinian cause, they added, harms it and causes the Palestinians to lose the support of the Arab and Islamic world.

Iranian leader 'Ali Khamenei, PIJ leader Ziad Al-Nakhalah and Hamas Political Bureau head Isma'il Haniya (Source:

The following are translated excerpts from some of these articles:

Columnist In Saudi Daily: The Palestinians Will Pay Dearly For The Alliance With Iran

Rami Al-Khalifa Al-'Ali, a lecturer in political philosophy at the University of Paris and a columnist for the Saudi daily 'Okaz, argued that the alliance between some Palestinian factions and Iran is an unforgivable error that will cost the Palestinian people dearly. He wrote: "The latest Israeli war against the Gaza Strip has ended, and the result is more Palestinian victims and Israeli cities bombed, while nothing has changed in the details of the Palestinian arena or the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. What occurred in the Gaza Strip in this [round of fighting] and in previous ones is aggression that is not acceptable to the Arab countries, and Israel bears the responsibility for the death of [Palestinian] citizens and for the siege on the [Gaza] Strip. However, this needn't prevent us from reflecting and directing questions to all those who are responsible for the Palestinian issue, in the [Palestinian] factions and in all [parts of] the PLO.

"The biggest mistake made by the Palestinians since the 1950s is bringing their cause into the tangle of regional and international politics and into the local crises of every Arab country that the Palestinian factions managed to reach. First, the Palestinian factions adopted the Nasserite national-leftwing ideas and started to exhibit hostility toward some of the Arab countries, in support of [former Egyptian president Gamal] Abdel Nasser. Involvement in Arab conflicts accompanied [the activity of] these factions already in their embryonic stage. Shortly afterwards, the Palestinian factions [also] interfered in internal Jordanian conflicts, which led to the deadly clashes between them and the Jordanian Arab Army in the events of Black September [in 1970]. As soon as this tragedy ended, the Palestinian factions interfered again, this time in the civil war in Lebanon, which led some of the Lebanese political forces to make an agreement with Israel in order to undermine the Palestinian presence [in their country]. And then came the catastrophic mistake of Yasser Arafat, who supported the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, [an act] that cut off the Palestinian cause from many Arab peoples.

"If involving the Palestinian cause in Arab conflicts and in the internal affairs of various countries was a serious mistake, then [the Palestinian decision to] join the axes in the region and to turn various Palestinian factions into spearheads of various regional countries is an unforgiveable error. The current alliance between the Iranian regime and certain Palestinian factions harms the Palestinian cause and the entire Palestinian people, and leads [the Palestinian cause] to lose its Arab-Islamic depth. This is because the Iranian regime is responsible for the disasters and pains afflicting entire Arab societies. How can someone whose family and relatives were murdered and who was expelled from his home by the Iranian militias in Iraq… identify with Hamas when one of its leaders, Ismail Haniya, describes [the late Iranian general] Qassem Soleimani as a martyr for Jerusalem, a man who was responsible for the crimes of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps in numerous Arab regions[?] How can someone from [the Syrian town of] Al-Qusayr identify with the PIJ, which is a declared arm of Iran in Palestine, after Iran's militia in Lebanon [i.e. Hizbullah, took over the town and] expelled him from his home[?]

" Iran and Israel are in conflict over many issues, but if there is one thing they agree on it is [the tendency to] actualize their interests at the expense of the Arab interests. Therefore, inserting the Palestinian issue into this conflict is a serious mistake and the Palestinian people are likely to pay a very heavy price for it in the future. Palestine is a just cause and not a mailbox for [an exchange of messages between] Israel, Iran, or anyone else. Purging the Palestinian cause [of external interests] and restoring it as a just cause that unites all the Arabs is a task for the Palestinians [themselves], more than anyone else. [But] until we reach that situation, I'm afraid we are likely to witness more rounds of violence …"[1]

Kuwaiti Writer: The Palestinian Faction Leaders, Who Live In Luxury, Fight Israel On Iran's Behalf While The Gazans Pay With Their Lives

In his column on the Al-Nahar Al-Arabi website, Kuwaiti journalist and academic Dr. Muhammad Al-Rumaihi attacked the leaders of the Palestinian factions, claiming that they set off military confrontations with Israel in the service of Iran, for which the Gazans pay with their lives, while the leaders themselves live abroad in comfort and luxury. He wrote: "Now that a ceasefire has been declared [in Gaza] after several Palestinians were killed and no significant results were achieved, we continue to repeat the cycles of…  activating [the fighters] and then [declaring] a ceasefire and so on and so forth, while the Palestinians in Gaza lose their lives… To tell the truth, I've lost count of how many clashes there have been between Israel and some faction or other in Gaza. Many [Palestinian] factions with various loyalties decide for themselves when to open fire and when to reach an 'arrangement' [with Israel], without [consulting] the other factions and for reasons that don't necessarily have anything to do with Palestine. And the ones who pay the very heavy price of losing their lives or and livelihood are the Palestinian people, whom no one consults about the damage caused to them.

"The simple and innocent [Palestinian] people are told that a number of rockets were fired into Israeli territories close to Gaza or far from it, but no one is told what [these rockets] hit or what the results [of the attacks] were. Most [of the rockets] fall in empty areas or explode before they reach their targets. The psychological impact of these rockets on the morale of those who fire them greatly exceeds their [actual] impact on the ground. Some Arabs love to say that 'the jihad movement is raining rockets on Tel Aviv,' but the only ones who die are the Palestinians.

"I heard the spokesman of the PIJ, the organization that set off the current round (which won't be the last), say that 'the Arabs sit idly by and don't support us, except for Iran, Hizbullah, and Ansar Allah [i.e. the Houthis] in Yemen!' They say this while deliberately ignoring the Arab countries that have extended and continued to extend assistance [to the Palestinians], among them Egypt, whose leaders mediate in order to save the lives of the Gazan Palestinians, as well as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE… Ignoring these countries and peoples is one thing, but claiming that Iran, Ansar Allah or Hizbullah help Palestine even slightly can almost [be described] as inventing facts and as incomparable political blindness...

"The latest confrontation broke out while the leader of the PIJ was in Tehran, which reveals that the decision to open fire [had to do] with the negotiations between Iran and the West and not with the Palestinian interests.

"There is no argument that the Palestinians suffer injustice. The controversy is about the actions of the resistance. Whoever reads the international arena intelligently… understands that there are two ways to fight for Palestine: [One is] the diplomatic way, which the Palestinian Authority is adopting. It wages low-key organized resistance, based on an accurate assessment of the balance of power on the ground, while also engaging in diplomatic action on all fronts… That is a correct understanding of the international reality and the interactions within it, which also ensures that the Palestinians in the West Bank still have a minimal [ability] to make a living and receive reasonable social services that allow them to hang on. The second way is to manufacture rockets that usually hit nobody but cause Israel to respond by pulverizing Gaza's collapsing infrastructures and bombing homes. Thus, every time [the Gazans] finish rebuilding, some organization sets off [another] armed conflict without consideration for the collective good. As a result, unemployment increases in Gaza – along with the rate of suicide among young people who lose any hope for the future – and poverty and deprivation abound…

"It is a small but influential minority within these organizations that oppresses the Gazans and excludes them from any human and political [consideration], while this minority itself enjoys every [possible] privilege. Some of these leaders live abroad in fancy homes and [send] their children to the best schools and universities, while their main occupation is selling illusions to the [Palestinian] masses. We should raise our voices against this equation, no matter what the populists demands of us, because the injustice caused by the people close to us [i.e., some of the Palestinian leaders] is greater and more severe [than the injustice caused by external elements]. This situation  periodically places the defenseless people's lives in danger, just because one of [the leaders] decides to do so without any national purpose and without assessing the cost and the benefit, and turns Gaza into a negotiation arena in order to promote the interests of another country [i.e., Iran]…

"The grave problem lies in the Arab political culture, which has been hijacked by the populists, as reflected by the statements made during the latest round of fighting by of a spokesman of Iran's Revolutionary Guards [Corps], who said that 'Israel's end is near'! We have heard such talk before, and it led us to disaster. How many disasters must befall us before we learn?" [2]    

Former Kuwaiti Minister: It Is Iran, Rather Than Hamas, That Decides To Start Wars In Gaza

In his column in the Saudi daily Independent Arabia,  former Kuwaiti information minister Sa'ad bin Tefla Al-'Ajami wrote that Iran, which recently shifted its support from Hamas to the PIJ, now has the last word on the issue of war in Gaza, and has thus gained another bargaining chip in its nuclear negotiations with the West – while the ones who pay the price for this are, as usual, innocent Palestinians. He wrote: "It is nothing new that Israel perpetrated a barbaric bombing attack on Gaza last week, for, ever since Hamas won the 2007 elections in the [Gaza] Strip [sic]… Israel's wars against Gaza have been unceasing: the devastating bombings, the civilian victims and the immense material damage…

"In the absence of any competition during the first decade of its control of the [Gaza] Strip, Hamas adopted a fickle policy, shifting [its loyalties] between Syria, Iran, Egypt and Qatar according to its interests, with the opportunism typical of the Muslim Brotherhood. This continued until the PIJ gained strength with direct Iranian support, which angered the Hamas movement. Hamas expressed [its anger] to the Iranians more than once, but always encountered [nothing but] forced diplomatic smiles on the part of the Iranians, and promises to 'support the resistance' in order to eliminate Israel. 

"The thing is that Iran is not interested in supporting any faction that is not subordinate to it and cannot be used as a bargaining chip, and no bargaining chip is more valuable than the Palestinian cause and its sacred demands! The Iranians learned from the Arab dictators to play the card of Jerusalem and Palestine…

"The scenario [of wars in Gaza] repeats itself and the victims are always innocent Palestinians who cannot open their mouths to protest against the recklessness of the factions and their exploitation of the [Palestinian] cause for the benefit of various parties. What is new this time around is that the ceasefire was authorized by PIJ leader Ziad Al-Nakhalah while he was visiting Tehran. This means that Iran, rather than Hamas, is now the main decision-maker when it comes to destroying Gaza – and that is what kept Hamas from participating in the 'resistance' during the latest war…  The new [aspect] in the last war was therefore Iran's direct involvement in it, by means of the PIJ, and its acquisition of a new card to use in its nuclear negotiations and its ambitions of expansion. As for the future relations between Hamas and the PIJ, I assess that they will eventually come to blows, for the bargaining chip represented by the Palestinian cause is very valuable, and neither Hamas nor Iran will relinquish it. If fighting breaks out between the PIJ and Hamas, this [too] will be at the expense of the unfortunate Palestinians."[3]



[1] 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), August 10, 2022.

[2],  August 9, 2022.

[3], August 12, 2022.

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