Gazans were disappointed on Monday after a highlight of what was dubbed the "Wet Gunpowder Festival" was wrecked by a technical failure after a live speech broadcast from Tehran by Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, was cut short.
Hamas commander in Gaza Yahya Sinwar also failed to show up to the festival, citing security considerations, while Mahmoud al-Zahr, another senior Hamas member, also cancelled his speech at the last minute.
A few minutes into Soleimani's broadcast, a technical malfunction caused his speech to be interrupted and teams were unable to reestablish the connection. The event’s emcee blamed Israel for letdown.
Being the mastermind behind many of Iran's attacks around the world, Soleimani is on the wanted list of several countries. He has been seen regularly in Syria and Iraq in the past, where he has closely monitored Iranian's military activity.
Ahead of the event, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Kamil Abu Rokon, published a post on his Facebook page in which he addressed the residents of Gaza about Soleimani's speech.
"I wonder what he's going to talk about: developing the Gaza Strip, rebuilding structures, providing electricity, water, helping the needy," Rokon wrote in his post.
"Iran invests money in Hamas, not in the Gaza Strip, and not in its residents, and sooner or later it will come to cash the check. Just as Soleimani does not care about the people of Syria, he does not care about you. This is a wake-up call for Gaza residents, just before the Gaza Strip becomes Tehran," he went on to write.
Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed the Palestinian issue in a sermon on Monday.
"The Americans called it the deal of the century, but it will never be implemented. The Palestinian issue is not forgotten and Jerusalem will always remain its capital. Palestinians, along with the support of the Muslim world, will continue the resistance,” he raged.
Major General Rokon also shared a video that documents the experiences of a young woman from the Gaza Strip who blames Hamas for the death of her brother, who was killed during the weekly March of Return riots.
"Everyday we hear promises from Haniyeh that things will get better, but every day the situation is only getting worse. The blame lies with the factions, who sent them to protest during the March of Return campaign,” she vented in the video.
Held at the Commodore Hotel in Gaza, the event included a dinner and the distribution of appreciation certificates. Purportedly, due to Egyptian pressure, only junior level Hamas operatives attended the event.
Egypt initially sought the complete cancellation of the event but Hamas insisted that it had not authority to nix it since it did not initiate it.
The Hamas terror group is in dire financial straits and Iran is the only foreign funder willing to support its military wing.