Hamas member details long history of Iranian financial, political support

"Since it's inception, the Iranian Islamic Revolution has been building a special relationship with the parties of the Palestinian revolution."

July 1, 2019 17:16
3 minute read.
Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Tehran

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Tehran Iran 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)


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Hamza Abu Shanab, a Gaza-based political analyst detailed Iran's long history of support for the organization in the Gaza Strip in the Hamas-run newspaper Al-Resalah on Monday.

"Since its inception, the Iranian Islamic Revolution has been building a special relationship with the parties of the Palestinian revolution," wrote Shanab, who, according to the New York Times, is close to Hamas.
The analyst stressed that, despite a cooling off in the relations between the Islamic Republic and the Palestinians, Iran is now the only country that provides military support to the Palestinian resistance.

Shanab also highlighted the Islamic Republic's support for the Islamic Jihad movement since its establishment in the early 1980s and the special relationship between Iran and the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas since its creation in the late 1980s.

In the article, Shanab split Iranian support for Palestinians into categories: Political, military, financial, support for Palestinian media and social aid.

Politically, Iran supports the Palestinians by not recognizing the State of Israel and by rejecting peaceful solutions, including the two-state solution, according to Shanab.

Iran's support of Hezbollah, which is a "drain and a constant threat to the enemy in the northern front," according to the article, also "supports the resistance in the Gaza Strip."

The Islamic Republic aids Palestinian leaders who are on terrorism lists by providing safe housing for them.

Militarily, Shanab pointed out that Iran provides a variety of combat equipment and missiles to the Gazan factions, while also training dozens of "resistance fighters in several combat specialties."

The Islamic Republic also provides financial support for the development projects of missiles and tunnels, according to Shanab.

Iran also provided support for the "joint Palestinian resistance between the Qassam Brigades and Al Nasser Brigades which led to the kidnapping of [Gilad] Shalit, a major shift in the nature of relations," Shanab added. "What many politicians and observers don't realize is that the abduction of soldiers carried out by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon aimed to ease the aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2006." .

Arms supply lines were also developed between the Palestinians, Iran and Hezbollah around 2006.

Financially, Shanab highlighted Iran's monetary support for the military wing of Hamas's Qassem Brigades as well as the financial support provided during the "international siege" on the Gaza Strip.

Iran also provides financial support for Palestinian media and media professionals, while presenting a favorable narrative about the Palestinians and the resistance groups.

According to Shanab, Iran has provided financial support to more than 9,000 families of Palestinian martyrs since the Second Intifada and provided an estimated 20,000 daily breakfasts to needy families in the Gaza Strip during Ramadan.

Hamza Abu Shanab is part of the Palestinian Coalition for the Syrian Revolution, Ynet reported.

Hamza is also the son of Ismail Abu Shanab, a senior Hamas operative who was killed in an Israeli military operation in August 2003 in retaliation for a suicide bombing carried out by Hamas in Jerusalem.

Ismail served ten years in Israeli prison for planning and carrying out the kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldier Ilan Sa'adon. He served as deputy Hamas leader for Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin when the leader was abroad.

Ismail also served as a spokesperson for Hamas. Hamas officially ended a ceasefire that was being held at the time, with Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh saying, "the assassination of Abu Shanab is also the assassination of the ceasefire," according to a Al Qassam Brigades press release.

Ismail represented the more moderate and pragmatic side of Hamas, according to a paper by Nir Gazit of the Ruppin Academic Center. He supported the two-state solution and a long-term ceasefire with Israel.

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