Fatah Terror Group Asks for More Money From Iran for Attack Tunnels to Israel
The armed wing of the powerful Palestinian political party Fatah asked Iran for more funding to organize attacks against Israel in an interview with Iran’s Arabic news outlet Al-Alam, as reported by Palestinian Media Watch on Tuesday.
Speaking from a “3.5-kilometer long” underground attack tunnel in the Gaza Strip, a fighter from Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade said the group spends “all its time trying to get money to fulfill our duty concerning our occupied lands” — referring to all of Israel — “and liberate them from the Zionist entity. This is why we are asking [for money] … especially [from] Iran, which is a known longtime supporter of the [Palestinian armed] resistance and the Palestinian cause,” according to Palestinian Media Watch.
Israel spent much of Operation Protective Edge last summer confronting the vast network of subterranean tunnels dug out by Gazan militants, not only to smuggle materials, but also to evade Israeli Air Force strikes and to launch attacks into Israel, where some of these tunnels ultimately led.
The IDF says it destroyed 32 such cross-border tunnels during the war last summer, Israeli leaders said the infrastructure was developed with money not just from Iran, but also Qatar and Turkey.
In April, the Daily Telegraph reported according to intelligence sources that Iran has already provided Gaza-ruling Hamas with tens of millions of dollars to rebuild the vast tunnel network, though some tension was raised between the terror group and Tehran after Hamas officials flew to Iranian foe Saudi Arabia last month for meetings with high-level officials.
The Fatah party is the dominant player in the Palestinian Authority, with President Mahmoud Abbas serving as its chairman. The political arm of Fatah was booted however from the Gaza Strip in 2007 when Hamas militants took over the coastal enclave and established an Islamist government, though a tenuous reconciliation was struck between the two parties in Egypt last year.
An official from the Palestinian Liberation Organization — also dominated by Fatah — announced last week that Abbas would be visiting Iran for the first time since 2012, this November.