Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh and Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in a meeting in Tehran

Iran's Over $220M Support To Hamas Revealed In Times Report

Friday, 04/12/2024

Secret letters found during the Gaza war show the Iranian government's significant financial support for the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas totaling at least $222 million between 2014 and 2020, according to an exclusive report by The Times.

Detailing the flow of money from Tehran to Gaza, the report includes purportedly signed letters by Marwan Issa, the chief of staff of Hamas’ military wing who is believed to have been killed in an Israeli strike on Gaza.

Another letter, reportedly was addressed to Abu Ibrahim – another name used by Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza.

The report suggests that the content of the letters likely means they were intended for internal communication within Hamas's leadership.

While it has been clear for many years that Tehran was financially and militarily supporting Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, these latest documents more likely reveal part of the financial contributions by the Islamic Republic.

The funds were allegedly transferred in cash from Iran to Lebanon – then to Gaza, through a network of intermediaries, potentially involving cryptocurrency or credit systems.

Israel, which recovered the documents, suspects that the funds were used to finance Hamas's military operations, including the arsenal of rockets and weapons used in conflicts with Israel.

While there were periods where the payments from Tehran fluctuated, the cash flow to Hamas spiked after the 2021 conflict – with the report suggesting that it indicates the regime’s appreciation for Hamas's actions.

Israeli intelligence believes the financial support continued until at least the October 7 attack, the report said.

The Times report comes at a particularly volatile moment – as Iran appears to contemplate how and whether it should retaliate to an Israeli attack that killed several high-ranking IRGC officials in Damascus.

The current Israel–Hamas started when Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis in a surprise attack, mostly civilians. Palestinian militants also took around 250 people hostage.

Previously, Tehran has acknowledged that it helps finance and train Hamas – and has praised the attack on Israel but continues to deny that it played a role in the actual attack. Hamas is now considered one of the Iranian regime's armed militant proxy forces in the region, alongside the Lebanese Hezbollah, Yemeni Houthis and a collection of Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria.

Last year, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, in an interview with Al Jazeera television, said that his group had received $70 million in military help from Iran.

"We have rockets that are locally manufactured but the long-range rockets came from abroad, from Iran, Syria and others through Egypt," he said.

The US State Department estimated previously that Tehran’s support for Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas, reached $100 million a year.

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