Two weeks after a visit to Tehran by representatives from Hamas, Israeli media on Tuesday, August 6 reported an eye-catching increase in Iran's financial assistance to the Palestinian group.
Quoting unnamed Israeli government sources, these reports say Iran has increased its usual annual $100 million aid to Hamas to $360 million after the visit.
The Jerusalem Post and Israel's Channel 12 TV say the 3.5-fold rise in aid to Hamas is aimed at meeting certain demands by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
According to these reports, Iran has asked Hamas to provide Tehran with information about Israel's missile capabilities.
The visiting Hamas delegation, led by Salih Al-Arouri, the group’s deputy chief of political office, met with Khamenei during the one-week long visit.
Khamenei said during the meeting that Palestinians used to throw stones in their struggle against Israel, but now they have precision missiles, "and this means progress."
Iran's spending on militant groups and regional interventions angers many Iranians. During repeated protests in the last two years, slogans have rang out against Khamenei's policy, demanding money to be spent on domestic needs.
Palestinian website Al-Resalah, affiliated with Hamas, wrote before the visit that Iran helps Hamas in its political, military, financial, media and social activities.
The aid includes "various military equipment and powerful missiles," Al-Resalah reported.