This situation carries major implications for Hamas’ control of Gaza, and may partially explain both the moves to challenge its authority by other Iranian-supported groups such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committee, and the current flareup of jihadist violence in and around Gaza.
Hamas is caught in the middle of attempting a balancing act between its mostly Sunni Arab constituency and its Shi’ite Iranian backers. It apparently chose its Arab loyalties, and Tehran is signaling to the group that it has other options. “Diplomats: Iran cuts back on Hamas funding due to Syria unrest,” from Reuters, August 21:
Iran has cut back or even stopped its funding of Hamas after the Islamist movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, failed to show public support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said on Sunday.
One diplomat, who asked not to be identified, said intelligence reports showed that Iran had reduced funding for Hamas. Other diplomatic sources, also relying on intelligence assessments, said the payments had stopped over the past two months.