Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer (L) shakes hands with Hamas Gaza Chief Yahya Sinwar in Gaza City, on September 5, 2017.

Iran has taken over much of the military control of the Gaza Strip — at least by proxy — according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

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The media watchdog organization translated an interview with Gaza’s Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar that aired about a week ago on the Hezbollah-linked Lebanese Al-Mayadeen television network in which he discussed the “money, equipment and expertise” provided to the terror group’s military wing, Izz a-Din al-Qassam, and other Gaza terror factions, by Iran.

Iran, he said, is financing, arming, training and equipping Hamas and its allied Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group; he described “almost daily” coordination between the two groups and said the relations between Hamas and Iran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its commander, Qassem Soleimani, are “strong, powerful and warm.”

Sinwar also said Hamas has “excellent relations with our brothers in Hezbollah. Our relations with them are extremely developed. We work together and coordinate and are in touch on an almost daily asis. The relations are at the best stage ever.”

The barrage of at least 130 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel on Tuesday (May 29) this week by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists was an attack masterminded by Iran, according to Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett.

“All of the escalation from the Gaza side is not coincidental and is not local,” Bennett told reporters during his visit to a classroom in a Gaza Belt-area community on Wednesday morning. “The brain [behind the attacks] is an Iranian brain; the hand is the hand of Hamas.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.