Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has revealed that the Iran paid a total of $70 million to the Palestinian group to help it develop missiles and defense systems.
During an interview with Al-Jazeera Haniyeh said different countries help in financing the group, but Iran is the biggest donor.
The head of Hamas political bureau added that thanks to the aid from Iran, his group managed to have a comprehensive defense strategy in its confrontation with the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip last year.
He was referring to the two-week outbreak of violence in May 2021 that was called operation “Sword of Jerusalem” by Hamas but dubbed operation “Guardian of the Walls” by Israel.
Haniyeh said that the operation was “a rehearsal for the liberation of the Palestinian territories from the occupation", adding that it "completely paralyzed” Israel as their missiles even reached targets in Tel Aviv, which meant failure of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
Hamas reportedly fired more than 4,000 rockets and missiles at Israel, most of which were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome defense system.
He said that Hamas is not fighting a proxy war for Iran, stressing they are in it together against “the common Israeli enemy.”
Haniyeh added that Iran backs the Shiite groups within its framework of support for the “axis of resistance” in the region, noting that Tehran also supports Sunni movements against Israel.