GAZA CITY Ñ Palestinian agents for deposed Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein have run out of money.
Palestinian sources said thousands of Palestinians working for the
Saddam regime have not been paid salaries for March, Middle East Newsline reported. The sources said they
include Palestinians who helped organize pro-Saddam demonstrations in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip during the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
"A lot of people are not going to have money to pay their bills this
month," a Palestinian source said.
Until the halt in funding, Iraq was pumping more than $1.5 million a
month to agents and supporters in the Palestinian Authority areas, the
sources said. The money had been relayed to the Arab Liberation Front and to
families of Palestinians killed or injured in the insurgency war against
The Baghdad-based ALF was responsible for the distribution of the Iraqi
funds as well as activities in support of the Saddam regime. The ALF has
offices in every Arab-populated city in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The sources said Iraq had relayed more than $35.5 million to the
Palestinians since 2001. Over the last six months, they said, Baghdad was
believed to have allocated more than $2 million a month to the Palestinians.
Over the weekend, the ALF acknowledged a halt in Iraqi funding. Ibrahim
Zaanin, the group's spokesman, said the fall of the Saddam regime would
affect numerous poor families as well as those who lost their loved ones in
the war against Israel.
The spokesman said the last payment relayed by Iraq was on March 21, the
day after the war started. He said the Iraqi allocation of $30,000 went
to three Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip who lost their sons in the
war against Israel.
Zaanin said his group would continue to support Palestinians. He said
the money would come sources other than Iraq. He would not elaborate.
The decline in funds from Iraq comes as Palestinian insurgents have
launched a series of attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets.
Israeli sources said authorities have also foiled several Palestinian
On Tuesday, two Israelis were killed and several others injured when a
Hamas gunman burst into the Karni terminal at the edge of the Gaza Strip and
began firing his semi-automatic weapon. In the West Bank, an Israeli officer
was killed in a military operation in the northern city of Nablus.