TEL AVIV — Iran is continuing to increase its influence in the Gaza Strip through the social activities of the official Iranian charity foundation named after Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The fund recently launched a campaign called “Khomeini’s Aid,” in which it distributed thousands of food parcels to Palestinian families in the Strip for the month of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims.
One of the leaders of the campaign in Gaza, Khamis Alhaytam, said that the goal of the campaign is to help families in need during the month of Ramadan.
The activity of the Iranian charity fueled debate among Palestinians when some in Gaza claimed that the goal was to spread the Shi’ite concept of Islam and to strengthen Iran’s influence and image among the Sunni population of the Gaza Strip.
Social media users haven’t remained silent about the Iranian effort to penetrate the social fabric of the residents of the Gaza Strip. Ismail Hamid, the leader of “Army of the Nation,” a Salafi organization active in the Gaza Strip, wrote on his Twitter account, “The Khomeini Committee for charity, or the Iranian Red Crescent, the Sunnis will not open their doors to Iran so that no one will complain afterwards that many Gaza residents are becoming Shi’ites.”
Helmi Basit wrote, “The supply committee named after Khomeini is distributing food packages in the strip. Iran spreads its poisons in Palestine and exploits the needy families.”
— حلمي بسيط (@kan_zman22) June 4, 2017
An Iraqi Twitter user, Aisha Alanzi, wrote, “After sinking in the blood of the Sunnis in Iraq and Syria, Iran has returned once again to the Gaza Strip through the Khomeini supply fund!!”
— عائــشـــه العنـــزي (@aisha_iq234) June 5, 2017
Majd Abdelhadi wrote on his Facebook account, “In order for us to be vigilant, the Palestinian factions serve the Jews and all those fighting against Allah and against his prophet. Their goal is to earn money and protect their interests. Who, if not Iran, is killing the Sunnis in Iraq, Syrian and Yemen! Iran is trying, in steps, to complete its control over Gaza through the Palestinian factions it considers as part of its army by providing aid and exploiting people’s needs.”