Iranian aid to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has drastically decreased, a senior Hamas official said Monday.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Moussa Abu Marzouk said that Iran’s aid “greatly helped the resistance in Palestine; without this assistance it will be hard for us to cope.”
“The relations between Hamas and Iran are not advancing in a direction in which the organization (Hamas) is interested and aren’t improving to the degree the organization wants in order to help the Palestinian issue,” Abu Marzouk said.
He said Iran had provided both military aid and funds for the government and families in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, an Islamic extremist group avowedly seeking to destroy Israel, seized control of Gaza in 2007.
Abu Marzouk’s remarks came on the heels of a visit by senior Hamas officials to Riyadh in what has been deemed indicative of a shift in allegiance from Shiite Iran, which has provided it with arms and money in recent years, to Sunni Saudi Arabia.
Hamas’s assertion that Iran’s funding has largely ceased runs contrary to statements by the Islamic Republic that, notwithstanding the nuclear agreement with the US and world powers, it will continue to support its allies in Palestine and elsewhere. Reports from Gaza in recent days had suggested an increase in Iranian funding in the wake of the nuclear deal, under which sanctions are to be lifted and Iran’s economy is set to dramatically strengthen.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that should Iran’s billions of dollars in frozen funds oversees be freed up, that money will allow Tehran to further its backing for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.