On Jan. 14, Iranian deputy parliamentary speaker Ali Akbar Mohtashami,
heading a 40-member delegation, arrived in Lebanon to direct Iranian support
"Based on the major lessons from the Second Lebanon War, it would be
prudent to anticipate that Iran will seek to provide immediate assistance in
order to rehabilitate Hamas in Gaza," the report said. "Just as in Lebanon,
Iran will strive to channel the rehabilitation funds for Gaza to its Sunni
protege, Hamas, in order to preserve Hamas' ability to reassert its rule
over Gaza. Sealing the Philadelphi Route [Egypt-Gaza border] effectively
will not only block the
supply of Iranian rockets, but also the flow of Iranian cash into Gaza."
In 2006, the report said, Iranian agents arrived in Lebanon and began
distributing up to $12,000 to each Shi'ite family whose home was destroyed
in the war with Israel. Within several months, Iran, ignoring the pro-U.S.
government in Beirut, paved hundreds of kilometers of roads and
rehabilitated houses and public institutions damaged during the fighting.
The Iranian effort in Lebanon was directed by the Waad Co., operated by
Hizbullah. The United States determined that Waad rebuilt Lebanese homes as
well as the Hizbullah command and control center in Beirut.
The report urged the Israeli government to insist that the Palestinian
Authority, based in the West Bank, remain the sole arbiter of reconstruction
projects in the Gaza Strip. Shapira said PA personnel must be stationed in
the Gaza Strip to prevent Iran infiltration.
"It is of prime importance to identify who will provide the assistance
funds for Gaza rehabilitation, and who on the ground will implement the
wide-ranging renewal projects," the report said. "A reliable international
mechanism is urgently needed to prevent Iran from acquiring influence in
post-war Gaza through any assistance programs. This is the only way to
guarantee the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza and convert Hamas'
severe military debacle into political currency in Gaza."