Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad said Monday that they were facing difficulties transferring funds to finance their activities in the Palestinian territories due to the current turbulent regional situation.
Speaking separately to Anadolu Agency, leading members of both movements denied reports that their organizations were facing financial difficulties.
Yehia Moussa, a senior Hamas figure, told Anadolu Agency that his movement was not facing any financial crisis.
“There are difficulties related to the means by which we can transfer funds in light of the current Arab counterrevolutions,” Moussa said.
“Hamas is not a state with a budget and secret accounts to be described as having a ‘financial crisis’; it depends on people and friends all over the place,” Moussa said.
He added: “Tightening the blockade on the Gaza Strip, coupled with current developments in Arab states, has impacted the ability to transfer and receive funds.”
“There is significant scrutiny on Palestinian resistance movements with the objective of sealing their channels for funding with a view to fighting and eliminating them,” he added.
Hamas doesn’t publicize its funding sources, but sources close to the movement say it receives dues from members, along with donations collected from supporters around the world.
Several sources have said that particular countries provide funding for Hamas – assertions the movement has consistently denied.
Hamas lost a major source of funding after the Egyptian authorities destroyed the network of tunnels along the Egypt-Gaza Strip border.
The resistance movement used to collect taxes on fuel, building material and other commodities crossing the border via the tunnels.
Egypt closed the Rafah border crossing, Gaza’s only access to the outside world that isn’t controlled by Israel, last October following an attack on a Sinai military site that left 31 Egyptian troops dead.
Egypt has tightened its grip on the border with the blockaded Gaza Strip since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi – the country’s first freely elected president – by the army in mid-2013.
The Egyptian authorities have since been working to set up a “buffer zone” along the border.
Habib Khedr, a leading member of Islamic Jihad, for his part, echoed Moussa’s statements.
“There is no truth to media reports claiming that a financial crisis is plaguing the Islamic Jihad organization,” Khedr said, adding merely that there were “difficulties in transferring funds due to recent regional developments.”
Islamic Jihad, too, does not disclose its funding sources, but observers say it receives steady funding from Iran, to which the movement purportedly enjoys close ties.