The new leader of the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza said on Monday that the group has successfully reset ties with Iran after a five-year rift, using the newfound assistance for “rebuilding and accumulating” its military infrastructure to “liberate Palestine” from Israel.
“Thousands of people work every day to make rockets, (dig) tunnels and train frogmen,” Yehiyeh Sinwar said. “The relationship with Iran is in this context,” he added.
The Associated Press reported that, in his briefing with journalists, the Hamas leader would not reveal how much financial assistance the terrorist group receives from the Islamic Republic. But in June 2017, the intelligence chief of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, detailed how Iran contributes $50 million to Hamas’ annual budget, while bankrolling Hezbollah with $75 million and funding Palestinian Islamic Jihad with an additional $70 million.
Hamas and Iran fell out after the group refused to back Syrian regime President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, a key ally of the Islamic Republic. But Sinwar said ties now have been restored and are stronger than ever. “Today, the relationship with Iran is excellent, or very excellent,” Sinwar stated. He added that Iran is “the largest backer financially and militarily” to Hamas.