Israeli media is reporting that Iran has agreed to what is describe as a “massive increase” its monthly financial payments to Hamas. According to a Times of Israel report:
August 5, 2019 Iran has agreed to massively increase its monthly payments to Palestinian terror group Hamas in exchange for intelligence on Israeli missile capabilities, an Israeli television network reported Monday. The Islamic Republic is a longtime financial supporter of Hamas, the terror organization that rules the Gaza Strip and is committed to Israel’s destruction. In a recent meeting in Tehran between nine senior Hamas officials and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Tehran expressed willingness to raise its monthly financial backing to the terror group to an unprecedented $30 million per month, Channel 12 reported, citing an unnamed Arab source. That will represent a massive increase in Iranian support for the Gaza rulers. A report by the Ynet news site from August 2018, citing Palestinian sources, said Iran’s payments to Hamas at the time amounted to $70 million per year (less than $6 million per month). The meeting, which took place two weeks ago, was attended by Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy chief of the Hamas politburo. In exchange for the funding, Tehran asked Hamas to provide intelligence about the location of Israel’s missile stockpiles, the report said. It was not immediately clear if the raise was strictly conditioned on the intelligence provided by the terror group. The Hamas members said they would convey the request to the movement’s leaders in Gaza. Hamas also reportedly asked Iran to act as mediator for the terror group with Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, after ties were cut off during the Syrian civil war.
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In August 2014 the GMBDW was the first to report that Salah al-Arouri, a Hamas military leader then residing in Turkey, had admitted that the Hamas military wing was responsible for the kidnapping of thee West Bank teenagers, an event which sparked another round of the Gaza conflict. In June 2015, we reported that the US had designated al-Arouri as a terrorist and said he was responsible for Hamas money transfers.
Hamas and Iran have a long and tumultuous history. In October 2016, the GMBDW was reporting that Iran was once again “courting” Hamas in an attempt to improve its relationship with the Global Muslim Brotherhood among other things. Other relevant reporting has included:
- In November 2017, we reported that a Hamas delegation, including a US designated terrorist and one of the group’s military leaders Saleh al-Arouri,, had arrived in Tehran for discussions on Palestinian “unity.”
- In June 2017, we reported that a Hamas delegation was soon travel to Tehran in what appeared to be the latest development in the Gulf nation boycott of Qatar.
- In January 2017, we reported on a new Forbes survey that listed Hamas as the second richest terror group in the world with finances of around $1 billion.
- In February 2016, we had reported on what we described as the ever increasing ups and downs in the relationship between Iran and Hamas when a senior Hamas official said that Iran is lying about its funding of the organization.
- In January 2016, we recommended a report by the Israeli Rubin Center that looked at some of the relationships between Iran and the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
- The GMBDW reported in August 2015 that according to unidentified sources, Iran was deeply angered at a visit by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s to Saudi Arabia. We reported earlier that month that according to a Hamas official, Iranian aid to Hamas had “drastically decreased.”