Iran gave $1.8mn to Islamic Jihad: Israel

Published on Mar 22, 2006 08:33 AM IST

The money came from Iran, through Syria, and then into the West Bank, Shaul Mofaz, the defence minister of Israel, was quoted as saying.

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None | ByAssociated Press, Jerusalem

Iran recently transferred 1.8 million dollars to Islamic Jihad militants in the West Bank, encouraging them to carry out attacks in Israel ahead of its March 28 election, Israel's defence minister said in an interview.

The money came from Iran, through Syria, and then into the West Bank, Shaul Mofaz, the defence minister, was quoted as saying in an interview on Tuesday with Ynet, a Web site affiliated with the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

"We know that Iran transferred in the last month $1.8 million to the Islamic Jihad organization in order to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel," Mofaz said.

Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed guerrilla group that operates from Lebanon, "is also involved in some of the terror operations here and sends messages, as well as money, which arrives from Iran to the Islamic Jihad and to Hamas," he added.

Mofaz also said that since Palestinians in Gaza are still dependent on Israel, they would not be completely cut off, even though Israel has kept a main cargo crossing closed for most of the past two months, leading to food shortages in Gaza. However, Israel will not consider opening a passage between the West Bank and Gaza so long as Hamas is in power, he said.

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