Hamas seeks closer ties, funds from Iran
During the past year, the radical Islamic organization Hamas has been forced to seek closer ties with Iran in order to compensate for a loss in funding from other sources.
Intelligence sources describe the intensifying links between Iran and Hamas as "significantly increased," particularly the frequency of visits to Tehran by leading members of the organization.
Following the September 11 terror attacks in the United States, there has been increasing pressure on traditional pools of funds in the United States and Arab countries.
The pressure exercised by Washington on Saudi Arabia, a major source of funding for Hamas, did not have the desired results and the flow of money continues. However, a serious blow has been dealt to the money-trail from Islamic and Palestinian charities based in the United States.
The American decision to initiate an offensive is a direct result of the terror attack of September 11. For example, Israel had tried to persuade the administration to shut down the Holy Land Fund, an Islamic charity based in Texas, for more than three and a half years, with no success.
Last January, President George W. Bush ordered the closing of the fund, which received as much as 15 percent of the cost of a purchase from major retailers, as a contribution from buyers who wished to make a donation