Iran’s growing involvement in Palestinian incitement

The Islamic Republic of Iran is providing aid to violent protesters in Jerusalem. The Times of Israel reports:

The aid reportedly included boxes of food and drink, which came with a flyer attached depicting the Dome of the Rock and a quote attributed to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reading, “With the help of God, Palestine will be freed. Jerusalem is ours.”

While Palestinian media reported that an Iranian youth movement provided the food packages, PA intelligence officials said it was clear that the Iranian regime was behind the aid.

Photos of the care packages have emerged on social media.

Palestinian media is claiming Iranian youth movements are distributing the care packages. However, sources within Palestinian security forces told Israel HaYom that “such a large logistical effort could not have been single-handedly managed and funded by a youth movement” and that  “It is plainly obvious that the government in Tehran, by way of its long tentacles, was behind these efforts.”

Palestinian leadership has pushed violent incitement for years.  The claim that Israel is trying to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque is a regular falsehood.  This incitement has already lead to several deaths including three members of the Solomon family, who were brutally murdered by a 19-year-old jihadist who claimed in a Facebook post that he was “going to die for Al-Aqsa.”

Last year, the Obama Administration transferred $1.7 billion dollars to the largest state sponsor of terrorism, including a $400 million payout via an unmarked cargo plane, filled with pallets of shrink-wrapped European currency, in the middle of the night.  Obama administration officials even admitted that these funds could be used to fund terrorism.

Iran has been ramping up its anti-Israel rhetoric and foothold in the region. In addition to the care packages, Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, has ramped up its aggressions towards Israel.  Recently, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is building underground facilities for Hezbollah in Lebanon.  

The Trump administration recently recertified the Iranian nuclear deal (the JCPOA).  However, new sanctions are being levied against Iran over its ballistic missile development, financing of terrorist groups, and its involvement in conflicts around the region.

The Iranian regime’s continued involvement in promoting violent incitement against Israel is a further ramping up of its long-term goal of becoming the region’s hegemonic power. While the US can’t rescind the pallets of cash already sent to Iran, the Trump administration can do more to ensure that the Palestinians are not the beneficiaries of additional funds to incite violence, including defunding the Palestinian Authority for subsidizing terrorism.

About Alex VanNess

Alex VanNess is a fellow at the Endowment for Middle East Truth and formerly served as the director of the Middle East Peace and Security Policy at the Center for Security Policy. In the past, Mr. VanNess worked as an Intern for Congressman Doug Lamborn and then later as a member of staff for Congressman Tom McClintock of California. His articles have appeared in The American Thinker, Breitbart News, The Washington Examiner, and The Daily Caller, where he writes extensively on U.S. defense spending, the U.S./Israel strategic relationship, and the existential threats posed by Islamic fundamentalism. Alex holds a degree in Political Science and Peace & Conflict Studies from Wayne State University, and has studied Jewish Law and Philosophy at Shor Yoshuv Rabbinical College in New York.