Shorts: Mideast

Iran, Syria fund Hamas government

jerusalem (jta) | Iran announced this week a $50 million donation to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

According to unconfirmed media reports however, the Iranian donation may amount to twice as much.

Separately, Syria said it was launching a campaign to promote private donations to the new Palestinian Authority government.

Iranian terrorists recruiting British Muslims for attacks

tehran (jps) | An Iranian terrorist group this week said that it was recruiting Muslim British citizens to come to Israel to execute suicide bombing attacks.

The terrorist group, called the Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign, reportedly received strong support from the Iranian regime, though it claimed to be independent.

Pollard-Barghouti swap in the works?

jerusalem (jta) | American and Israeli officials denied reports that Israel plans to offer to free a jailed Palestinian militiaman if the United States grants clemency to convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.

Army Radio reported this week that Israel would make the proposal to swap Pollard for Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life prison sentences for orchestrating Palestinian terrorist attacks.

According to the report, Israel believes that the United States could be interested in seeing Barghouti go free in a bid to bolster his Fatah faction against Hamas.

Jordan snubs Hamas minister

amman (ap) | Jordan cancelled a visit this week from the Palestinian foreign minister because Hamas activists allegedly had been smuggling missiles and other weapons into the kingdom.

The cancellation is the second diplomatic snub that Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar has received in five days. Last week he went to Cairo, but Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said he was too busy to see him.

A Jordanian spokesman said “missiles, explosives and automatic weapons were seized in the last couple of days.” Hamas denied the allegations.

Study: Nazis planned to kill Jews in Palestine

jerusalem (jta) | The Nazis had plans to exterminate Jews in pre-state Israel during World War II, according to a new report.

In 1942, a Nazi death squad was created and stationed in Athens, awaiting orders to join Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps to attack the pre-state Jewish community, according to the study appearing in a book called “Germans, Jews, Genocide: The Holocaust as History and the Present,” Reuters reported.