Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar shared a memory from his first meeting with Qasem Soleimani, on Al-Alam TV (Iran) on December 27, 2020. He said that following his first meeting with IRGC Qods Force commander Soleimani, Al-Zahar, who was the Hamas Foreign Minister at the time, and his companions were supplied with suitcases filled with 22 million dollars in cash as aid, to take back on the plane. He said that each suitcase weighed 40 kg.
Mahmoud Al-Zahar: "The first time I met Qasem Soleimani was after I was appointed as Foreign Minister in 2006. I traveled to a number of countries, one of which was Iran. I met the [Iranian] Foreign Minister, and then some Iranian officials. The last meeting I had before I left was with Qasem Soleimani. The meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a positive one. We made a number of requests, and he referred me to Qasem Soleimani. In the meeting [with Soleimani], we said that our main problems were the wages of our government employees, people who needed social aid, and the aid that had to be given to the people, when a siege had been imposed on us after our success in the elections. The decision was taken immediately. I was supposed to fly out the following day. I discovered 22 million dollars waiting for me in suitcases at the airport. We had agreed on a larger sum, but there were only nine of us and this is all we could carry. Each suitcase weighed 40 kilograms."