Hussein Sheikh Al-Islam, an Iranian parliamentary adviser on International Affairs, on Sunday attacked the Palestinian Authority's (PA) policy toward Gaza, calling it a "crime" which the PA is carrying out with the encouragement of the United States and Israel.
Speaking with Hamas's Al-Risala newspaper, Sheikh Al-Islam said that the PA was conducting an unjustified war against Gaza, calling on PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to stop this policy, which he said was linked to Israel.
His comments refer to the PA's decision to cut the salaries of public employees in Gaza and to stop funding the power plant in the coastal enclave. The PA claims that Hamas is not prepared to transfer power in Gaza to the PA, and is running an independent government there, and therefore it must fully bear the consequences of its policy.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Abbas's spokesman, condemned Sheikh Al-Islam's statements and said that they serve only Israel and the enemies of the Arab nation.
Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction have been at odds since Hamas took over Gaza in a bloody coup in 2007.
A unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed in 2015 when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.
This past week,Hamas parliament member Marwan Abu Ras referred to Abbas as a "traitor" who should be killed due to his measures against Gaza.
The support of Hamas by Iran is significant, as the sides have been at odds over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
As a result of Hamas’s refusal to support Assad in the uprising, an angry Iran reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons.
Last year, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal admitted that Iran had cut back its assistance to Hamas but denied reports that Iran's move stemmed from a disconnect between Hamas and the Islamic Republic.