Iran halts funds to Palestinian terror groups, sparking crisis - report

The crisis has affected the factions both in the Gaza Strip and abroad to a point where some of them were unable to pay their monthly bills.

 Palestinian Authority public servants wait to receive their salaries via an automated teller machine (ATM) outside a bank, in Tubas in the West Bank December 3, 2020.  (photo credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA)
Palestinian Authority public servants wait to receive their salaries via an automated teller machine (ATM) outside a bank, in Tubas in the West Bank December 3, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA)

Iran has stopped channeling funds to a number of Palestinian factions, the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds revealed on Sunday.

The paper quoted unnamed informed sources in Lebanon as saying that the factions are currently suffering from a financial crisis because of the Iranian move, which was taken three months ago.

The sources did not name the factions that have been affected by the move.

However, it’s believed that Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) are among the factions that depend on funding from Iran.

The sources claimed that the factions used the Iranian money to pay salaries to their leaders and members and cover the costs of their “various activities.”

Palestinian Hamas militants take part in an anti-Israel rally in Gaza City May 22, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)Palestinian Hamas militants take part in an anti-Israel rally in Gaza City May 22, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)

In the past, Hamas and PIJ officials admitted that Iran has been supplying their groups with financial and military aid.

The sources said the reason for halting the financial aid was unknown, though it may be related to the ongoing protests and violence in Iran.

Who will be impacted by Iran halting Palestinian funds?

The sources said the crisis has affected the factions both in the Gaza Strip and abroad to a point where some of them were unable to pay their electricity bills and other expenses.

Media outlets belonging to the factions may also be affected as a result of the absence of Iranian funding, the sources added.

Recently, a well-informed PIJ source in the Gaza Strip told the Al-Monitor news website that his group’s leaders were following with great concern the disturbing and escalating protests inside Iran. “We are concerned the protests will also affect the future of Iran's financial and military support," the source said. ‭‮