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Iran Accused of Helping Fund Violent Clashes Over Temple Mount

Iran helped fuel violent clashes over the installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem last month by providing food packages to demonstrators, Palestinian sources told Israel Hayom this week.

Iran distributed food and drinks along with a flyer depicting the Dome of the Rock and a quote attributed to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which read, “With the help of Allah, Palestine will be liberated! Jerusalem is ours.”

According to Palestinian media reports, the food packages were handed out by an Iranian youth movement, but intelligence sources from inside the Palestinian Authority insist that the Iranian regime had its hand in the distribution of the aid.

“It is clear to us that the regime in Tehran, by means of its long arms, stands behind this catering operation,” a PA official told Israel Hayom. “We are talking about sums that reach millions of shekels, and the Iranians found a way to benefit from this and send a message to the Palestinian public right under Israel’s nose that Iran is the one that takes care of them.”

“The flyer attached to all the food packages with Khamenei’s quote made clear who stands behind these food baskets,” the official added.

Another Palestinian source told the paper that the PA failed to notify Israel of the Iranian efforts, after PA President Mahmoud Abbas decided to freeze security cooperation with the Israelis over security measures put in place after three Arab Israeli gunmen killed two police officers on the Temple Mount on July 14.

Over the past several years, Iranian leaders have made numerous statements calling for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. In June, Khamenei tweeted: “There is no doubt that we will witness the demise of the Zionist entity.” In April, Iran displayed various missile systems in a military parade in Tehran, many of which were emblazoned with slogans calling for the death of Israel.

The Islamic Republic has also long funded projects and operations against Israel, mostly through its proxies Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which every year receive hundreds of millions in aid from Iran, as well as weapons and training.

[Photo: Israel Hayom]