Hamas and Islamic Jihad's Military Dependence on Iran

(Tablet) Tony Badran - Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) fired over 4,300 rockets at Israel in the latest round of fighting. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar recently gloated, "If not for Iran's support, we would not have obtained these capabilities." At the end of the fighting in May, Doha-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh also thanked Iran for its support. Iran's ties to the various factions in Gaza are longstanding and extensive. Whereas PIJ is more widely recognized as a direct proxy of the Iranians, Hamas' portfolio of diplomatic and economic relations with countries like Qatar and Turkey tend to obscure the exclusivity of its military dependence on Iran. Moreover, as Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Shimon Shapira told Tablet in 2014, Iran has bypassed Hamas' political leadership, which is largely dependent on the assistance of foreign countries, by developing direct relationships with its military commanders, who actually manage the arsenal of Iran supplies. The writer is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2021-06-03 00:00:00

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