The military wing of Fatah in Gaza has publicly asked Iran for funding in order to help carry out attacks against Israel, according to Iranian Al-Alam TV. Fatah’s military branch, known as the Al-Aqsa Brigade, is an internationally recognized terror organization, closely associated with the larger Fatah movement, which controls the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank.
The request for Iranian funds came as the PA announced that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would be travelling to Iran. Palestinian Media Watch reported on Monday that senior PLO official Abbas Zaki has said strengthening ties with Iran is “an inevitable step if we [the Palestinians] want to confront the Israeli occupation.”
Palestinian overtures to Iran began earlier this month, when Abbas sent PLO Executive Committee Member Ahmed Majdalani, a senior Palestinian official, to Tehran in order to deliver a personal letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. According to Majdalani, the letter contained information regarding the “Israeli offensives against our people and its holy places.”
Majdalani travelled to Iran under the guise of repairing the relations between the Palestinian people and the Islamic Republic. During the meeting, both parties agreed to determine actual steps to bring about the end of the “occupation” in “Palestine.” Additionally, the Palestinians agreed to participate in resolving the Syrian crisis.
Until now, the PA has been very reluctant to take sides in the Syrian conflict. However, in light of the recent nuclear deal with Iran, the PA has apparently opted to support Iranian-backed Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.