Khalaf was regarded as a leading protege of Teheran. He studied four
years Teheran's at Ali University before recruited by IRGC in security.
In 1999, Khalaf, following his arrival from Iran, was arrested by Israel
and spent five years in prison. In January 2009, Khalaf succeeded Security
and Protection Force commander Ismail Jabari, killed in an Israel Air Force
"The operation was effective and extremely cheap," another source said.
"When Carter went to the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority spent much
more and required help from the Americans."
For his part, Khalaf said Carter and Quartet chairman Tony Blair were
protected by the VIP force for $1,000, a budget that went largely for
sandwiches and drinks. In contrast, he said, the visit by U.S. President
Barack Obama to Cairo cost Egypt $15 million.
Palestinian sources said Hamas formed a unit of 2,000 trained
fighters to protect the Islamic regime in the Gaza Strip. The unit, titled
"Security and Protection Force," was also authorized to protect visiting
dignitaries, diplomats and foreign staffers in the Gaza Strip.
The VIP force, which does not have barracks, was said to report directly
to Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad, who replaced Said Siyam, also killed
in the war with Israel. The force has been equipped with armored vehicles,
communications, a range of light weapons and personnel who speak foreign
For his part, Khalaf said IRGC has proven to be a major influence on the
VIP force. He said he would protect PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during any
visit to the Gaza Strip. The Islamic regime has already rejected the
prospect of an Abbas visit.
"My soldiers have benefited from my Iranian-style in VIP protection
tactics and skills," Khalaf said.