Iran Increases Hamas’ Monthly Payments
Iran has agreed to increase Hamas’ monthly payments in exchange for “information about Israel’s missile capabilities,” an Israeli report said on Tuesday.
The Israeli Channel 12 said that Iranian leader Ali Khamenei, during a recent meeting in Tehran with nine Hamas officials, expressed his readiness to raise the movement’s monthly allocated financial support to $30 million.
Iran has long provided financial support to Hamas, but has decreased it sharply in recent years because of differences over the Syrian crisis. The new Iranian support is a powerful boost to Hamas, which is suffering a severe financial crisis in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere in the West Bank and abroad.
Over the past few years, Hamas and Iran have rebuilt their ties through Hezbollah’s interventions in Lebanon. Tehran resumed limited support for the group before deciding to increase it, following a visit by a Hamas delegation to Tehran two weeks ago.
The Israeli Channel 12 said that during these meetings, Tehran asked Hamas to provide intelligence information about the locations of Israel’s missile stocks. Hamas members said they would deliver the request to their leaders in Gaza. The movement has also reportedly asked Iran to launch a mediation with the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, after their relations deteriorated during the Syrian crisis.
According to a Haaretz report last week, Israeli intelligence officials believe Hamas and Iran have agreed to open a front against Israel from the Gaza Strip in the event of war with Iran’s allies on the northern border.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad would try to force Israel to divert forces and air defense systems to the south from the northern front, a senior Israeli defense official was quoted by Haaretz as saying.