If Hamas wins upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections, the terror group will “gladly” accept United States foreign aid to the Palestinian people and will allow funds to be monitored by “anyone who wants” to ensure the financial aid is used properly, Hamas chief Mahmoud al-Zahar said in an interview.
“Without any condition we are accepting any money and we are ready to put these figures in the proper way and in a purified manner. Anybody can follow this money, can observe and account, do anything to be sure that we are running our system without corruption,” al-Zahar told WorldNetDaily’s Aaron Klein and ABC Radio’s John Batchelor during an interview broadcast on Batchelor’s national show.
Al-Zahar was reacting to a congressional resolution passed last month calling for a freeze in U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas wins elections currently scheduled for Jan. 25.
The terror group swept recent local elections throughout Gaza and in many Judea and Samaria towns, and is widely expected to dominate upcoming elections.
Al-Zahar, whose group has openly funded and carried out scores of suicide bombings and rocket and shooting attacks against Israelis, said he would use American money to build “factories, agriculture and [other] real investments in the Palestinian people.”
Asked if he thinks a Hamas election victory would bring international isolation to the Palestinian people, al-Zahar responded, “There are many countries that suffer from international isolation, but we are speaking about very big popular support [for Hamas] from the Palestinian people. … [We have the] support of many countries other than Europe and America, which has Zionist attitudes. We will succeed to help our people by all means whether the Western people accept us or not.”
Al-Zahar said his group rejects efforts by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to delay the January elections. Abbas said this week elections might be postponed if Israel does not allow Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem to participate.
But senior Palestinian officials told WND the Palestinian leader is reluctant to hold elections on time for fear of losing.
“It’s not about Jerusalem at all,” said a PA official. “Fatah is split, with the young guard threatening to walk out. Hamas is a major threat to Abbas. There is a lot of violence surrounding the election that would effect the elections during the voting process and embarrass Abbas. He wants them delayed.”
Even while the U.S. Congress calls for funds to be cut off if Hamas wins elections, WND reported the U.S. Agency for International Development is currently in the process of using taxpayer dollars to fund a Gaza town run by the terror group.
The Agency, in conjunction with the Islamic Development Bank, reportedly contributed $392,000 for construction of roads and public facilities in Bani Suhaila, a Gaza village outside the populated Palestinian city of Khan Yunis. U.S. AID has contracted a company specializing in road development and will oversee the road construction project, a spokesman for the agency told WND.
Hamas earlier this month won 13 out of 14 seats in Bani Suhaila’s local municipal elections. According to Israeli security sources, the terror group has long maintained a civilian infrastructure in the area consisting of Hamas-owned shopping centers, medical clinics and other public facilities.
Al-Zahar told WND his group is “absolutely in charge in Bani Suhaila. “The Palestinian people have voted and told us in an open and fair manner that they want us to represent them and their interests.”