Iran has bolstered its civil activity in the Gaza Strip over the past few weeks to gather public support that can be used at the appropriate moment, likely during a potential conflict with Israel.
Its efforts to harness the public’s loyalty with money and food are made with Hamas’s knowledge and authorization.
Iran has invested $15 million in Gaza’s civil activity since the “March of Return” campaign was launched in March. The activities partially focuses on families of Palestinians who were wounded or killed during clashes with the IDF on the Gaza border fence during the violent marches.
Iran distributed $500 to each of the families of Palestinians killed in the Hamas-initiated March of Return clashes during the Ramadan feast marking the end of the fast, which took place a few days before Iran’s Al-Quds Day rally during which Tehran demonstrated solidarity with Gaza.
Iran uses a variety of sophisticated means to transfer money to the strip, exploiting merchants delivering goods and exchanging them with cash money. Another method employed by Iran is transferring money to banks outside the strip, which are then withdrawn from banks inside Gaza. Money exchange companies are also used to send money to the terror-ruled coastal enclave.
During the month of Ramadan, Iran dontaed 250,000 meals to Gaza, feeding one eight of Gaza’s two million residents as part of its efforts to rally the population’s support.
In addition, Iran has shown military support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group and Hamas’s military wing.
The Shi’ite Islamic republic’s goal is to create another proxy bordering with Israel, as it has done in Lebanon and Syria.
The A-Sabrin movement—a pro-Iran Shi’ite movement that has been operating over the past few years in Gaza—serves Iran as a tool enabling it to tighten its grip on Gaza’s population.
While the Shi’ite movement has a small military wing, the majority of its efforts are restricted to concentration of the civil area.
The movement’s logo resembles that of the Hezbollah’s, also a Shi’ite terror organization.
A-Sabrin is fully backed by Iran and it has no known independent budget sources of its own.
Over the past year the movement’s activity has been reduced. However, during the past few weeks, an increase in its civil activity has been noted which is directly affiliated with the “March of Return” campaign.
Iran’s method is to buy the support of Gaza’s residents by distributing food—including meat and poultry—that most of Gaza’s residents are unable to afford due to its high prices.
A mass fast-breaking feast was held at the end of May which also marked the death of one of the A-Sabrin movement’s prominent activists Nizar Issa who was killed in Jabalia while preparing an explosive device in 2014.
Moreover, the movement has also distributed poultry to families of what are known as Shahids (martyrs), with each food package carrying a label saying, “This (package) is given by the A-Sabrin movement as a present to the residents of Gaza.”
Furthermore, during Eid al-Fitr the movment distributed bags of candy each stamped with its logo.
Iran has also held a special event funded by the country’s aid fund—The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation—which aids the Palestinians and is based in Lebanon.
Children of people who had been killed or injured in the Gaza riots attended the event in which the fund distributed presents and offered them aid.
The Islamic Jihad’s official Khader Habib was also at attendance and thanked Iran for its assistance.
One of the fund’s senior officials said during the event that Iran seeks to work together with the Palestinian people to lift the blockade over Gaza. The official also stressed that the Palestinians must preserve their fierce resistance against the “Zionist enemy.”
Source » ynetnews