JAFFA, Israel – In marking the month of Ramadan, which began last week, Gaza’s Hamas leadership allowed Iranian-funded NGOs into the strip to deliver food to the needy.
Some of the NGOs are connected to the Iran-supported Al-Sabireen and Islamic Jihad terror groups based in the Gaza Strip. The distribution of food is carried out daily as part of a campaign called “The Aid of Imam Khomeini,” and represents a part of a wider campaign covering many Middle Eastern countries including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon led by “The World Association of Religious Scholars and Opposition Supporters.”
Hamas’ leadership permitted the NGOs to work in Gaza after months during which they were significantly limited in the territory and political assessments suggest that Hamas made the decision in order to improve relations with Iran, which in recent months renewed financial support for Hamas’ military wing, the Al Qassam Brigades.
Hamas officials expressed their displeasure with the campaign named after Khomeini with a large advertisement portraying Gaza as an Iranian satellite state. These same officials however, were unsuccessful in stopping the Iranian campaign in Gaza.
The campaign ignited intense discussion on social media where the prominent Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Saudi religious scholar Muhammad Alarefe wrote: “This is what happens when Sunni charities don’t do their jobs because then others do so.”
— د. محمد #العريفي (@MohamadAlarefe) June 8, 2016
Another Saudi user, Abdulrahman Alhosini posted: “This is a message to all the Sunnis. This is what the Aid of Khomeini distributes everyday: 7,500 fast-breaking meals to the needy in the strip!!!?”
(رسالة إلى أهل السنة أجمع Ὑ)
هذه لجنة إمداد الخميني الإيرانية توزع يوميا : ٧٥٠٠ وجبة إفطار صائم بقطاع غزة !!!؟ https://t.co/cKpJix5uD0
— عبدالرحمن الحسيني (@aalhosini) June 9, 2016
An account bearing the name “Jerusalem News” wrote: “The Shia Aid of Khomeini distributes food to the poor in Gaza as part of its attempts to push the Shi’ite agenda… Where is the Sunnis’ money!!”
🔴لجنة إمداد الخميني الرافضية توزيع طعام الإفطار على فقراء غزة في إطار جهودها في نشر التشيع
أين أموال أهل السنة !! pic.twitter.com/ktiQPD3mMa
— أخبار بيت المقدس (@new_jerusalem3) June 7, 2016
Another user, Deryam, wrote that “Iran is using the situation in Gaza and activates the Aid of Khomeini which is considered the financial branch of the Revolutionary Guards.”
— deryam (@deryamuae) May 28, 2016
“When the Sunnis are too lazy to help their brothers in Gaza, Iran sends them aid steeped in Muslim blood,” wrote Rihane on Twitter.
— ®✨ريحانة✨® (@R22N2) June 11, 2016
Despite the large number of social media users criticizing the aid from Iran, others saw the event in a more positive light.
“The Aid of Imam Khomeini. Allah will have mercy on your soul. Gaza deserves it and it causes the Wahhabists to go crazy!!”
— حاطك براسي (@dsa313313) June 8, 2016
A Lebanese social media user named Hussein Aldirani, wrote: “Thanks to Iran for carrying the pure Islamic message of the Prophet Muhammad … The Aid of Imam Khomeini delivers fast-breaking meals to the Palestinian people.”
شكرا لايران صاحبة الرسالة الاسلامية المحمدية الاصيلة…
لجنة امداد الامام الخميني قدس سره تقدم الافطارات للشعب… https://t.co/3nOVp2QquL
— حسين الديراني (@HusseinAldirani) June 7, 2016