Iran punishes Hamas for not backing Assad

GAZA: Iran has turned off the tap of funds to Hamas after the Islamist movement that controls Gaza failed to show public support for the embattled regime of the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reported.

It said that Hamas did not pay the July salaries of its 40,000 civil service and security employees. Diplomats and intelligence agencies told Reuters that Hamas receives funding from Iran and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, but that funding had dropped off over the past two months as Tehran showed displeasure at Hamas’s failure to hold public rallies in support of President Assad and the Muslim Brotherhood diverted funds to support Arab Spring revolts.

Last year, Hamas said its budget was $US540 million ($518.8 million), with just $US55 million of that raised through local taxes on merchants and goods brought into the Gaza Strip from Israel or smuggled in from Egypt.

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