Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
In keeping with its long-standing policy of funding anyone who seeks to destroy Israel or kill Jews, Iran has decided to pay stipends to the families of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who were killed during attacks on Israel.

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute}

In keeping with its long-standing policy of funding anyone who seeks to destroy Israel or kill Jews, Iran has decided to pay stipends to the families of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who were killed during attacks on Israel. The decision refers to the Palestinians who were killed while attacking Israeli soldiers during the weekly Hamas-sponsored riots along the Gaza-Israel border; they began in March 2018 under the banner of the “March of Return.”

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What are the implications of the Iranian decision? The message that Iran is sending to Palestinian families is: “If you want money and a good life, send your children to die on the border with Israel.” In other words, Iran is telling Palestinian families that the best way to improve their living conditions is by sending their children to kill or injure a Jew. This is a message that is likely to reverberate far and wide among Arabs, well beyond the Palestinians.

The expansion of Iranian influence to the Middle East in general and the Palestinian arena in particular began during the Obama administration, which turned a blind eye to Iran’s aggressive intentions, and later embarked on a policy of appeasement toward its mullahs. Under the Obama administration, the Iranians must have felt they had a pass to do whatever they wanted. That is evidently why, today, they are sitting not only in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, but also in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq.

Recently, Gatestone reported how Iran was planning to take over the Gaza Strip. The article pointed out that the Iranians were strengthening their ties with Hamas and Islamic Jihad to ensure that the two terrorist groups maintained their tight grip on the Palestinian population there.

One should probably not have expected anything different from the Iranians. In fact, the decision to fund the families of the Palestinians killed in attacks on Israelis is consistent with the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic policies of the rulers of Tehran, as well as others. The Iranians are even boasting of this decision. They are hoping that the move will bolster Iran’s standing in the Arab and Islamic countries and allow it to continue meddling in the internal affairs of countries in the Middle East.

It is no coincidence that the decision was announced shortly after Iran’s purportedly “moderate” president, Hassan Rouhani, called Israel a “cancerous tumor” and a “fake regime” established by Western countries to advance their interests in the Middle East.

Rouhani’s remarks are further confirmation of Iran’s openly declared goal of destroying Israel

Iranian leaders and their Palestinian allies deserve credit for being honest and straightforward about their intentions. Earlier this year, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, called Israel a “rabid dog” and said the Islamic world should arm itself against the Jewish state.

Last year, the Iranians unveiled a digital countdown showing 8,411 days to what they say would be the “destruction of Israel.” The prediction of based on a statement made by Khamenei in 2015, in which he said there would be “nothing” left of Israel by the year 2040.

The decision to fund the families of Palestinian terrorists was announced during a conference of The World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, a forum established in 1990 by order of Khamenei for the reconciliation of different Islamic schools and branches. The man who announced the decision was Mohsen Araki, the leader of the forum. Iran, he said, has decided to “adopt” the families of the Palestinians killed on the Gaza-Israel border. When the Iranians talk about “adopting” someone, they mean that Tehran will look after the families of those who targeted Jews and provide them with everything they need, including money, healthcare and education.

Iran’s Palestinian proxies, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, were quick to applaud the decision. They called it a “positive step toward unifying Muslims.” In the words of Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh, “The Islamic nation has no choice but to be united. We hope that the rest of the Arabs and Muslims will follow suit and support the marches and the lifting of the blockade [imposed on the Gaza Strip].”

The Iranians even invited senior Hamas officials to the conference, thereby further signaling Tehran’s continued support for the Gaza-based terrorist group that also seeks the elimination of Israel. The Hamas delegation was headed by Mahmoud Zahar, regarded in the Gaza Strip as the “commander in chief” of Hamas’s military wing, Izaddin al-Qassam.

The declared goal of the conference is to forge unity between Muslims. For the Iranians and their proxies, Islamic unity is a prerequisite to advancing the ultimate goal of removing the “cancerous tumor” (Israel) from the face of the earth. Iran has been doing its utmost to achieve this goal.

Were it not for Iranian support, the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization, Hezbollah, would not be aiming tens of thousands of rockets and missiles at Israel. Were it not for Iranian military and financial backing, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups would not have been able to fire more than 400 projectiles at Israel in 24 hours, as they did last month.

Iran supplies the means to anyone who shares the Islamic Republic’s objective of eliminating Israel. Hezbollah has been receiving billions of dollars from the Iranians in order to prepare for the next war against Israel. Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip have been receiving political, financial and military aid from Iran in order to continue their attacks on Israel.

Iran’s actions are not only directed against Israel, but also against the US. As Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, a senior official with the Iranian Foreign Ministry, explained: “The latest decision [to fund Palestinian families] is aimed at supporting the Palestinians in the face of American conspiracies to eliminate the Palestinian cause and rights.”

To set the record straight: Iran cares nothing for the Palestinians; Iran seeks to obliterate Israel, and if it could, obliterate the US, as its expansion into South America suggests.

It seems that some mullahs in Iran cannot wait for Khamenei’s prediction of Israel’s destruction in 2040. The Iranian money promised to the families is meant to encourage other all Arabs and Muslims to send their children to launch rocket attacks on Israel and throw stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers.

The money is not going for the building of medical clinics or schools in the Gaza Strip. Iran is prepared to pursue its fight against Israel and the US to the last Palestinian or Arab or Muslim. In fact, the mullahs might well like to see more Arabs and Muslims die in order to promote the jihad against Israel and the US. The question is, will the international community allow this plan to continue, or will it wake up to the fact that Iran has much more than Israel and the US in its sights?

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Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East. This article originally appeared on the Gatestone Institute website (gatestoneinstitute.org).
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