Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Hezbollah Backs Shi'ite Commander in Gaza Strip Once Banned by Hamas
(Worthy News)-- Al Sabirin, a pro-Shi'ite militia in the Gaza Strip, backed by Iran and Hezbollah launched its first operation May 25 against Israel. The organization is under the command of Hisham Salem, a former senior official of Islamic Jihad, who was arrested by Hamas in 2013.
Al-Sabirin presents itself as a "Palestinian resistance movement that seeks to free all of Palestine and does not believe in any negotiated agreements or even long-term truces with Israel."
In 2011, Hamas shut down Salam's charity, Baqiyat Al Shalit, and was charged with spreading Shi'ism according to the World Tribune.
An al-Sabirin spokesperson, known as Abu Yousef, addressed the question of their sectarian affiliation.
"We believe in Islamic unity and we reject any sectarian discourse. Whoever raises this issue serves our enemies the Zionists and the global arrogance that stands behind it which seeks to fragment and divide this nation," Abu Yousef told Al-Akhbar.
However, he added, "we do not deny any of our members the freedom to choose the sect according to which they worship God within the context of the sects recognized by Islamic law. But highlighting this issue as though it were a problem is the strategy of those who try to exploit differences and sow the seeds of sedition."
Sources told the World Tribune, Al-Sabirin represents the latest efforts by Iran and Hezbollah to establish a foothold in the Gaza Strip currently under control of Hamas, a Sunni terrorist organization.
"If this had taken place even a year ago, Salem and his associates would be in jail for promoting sectarianism," a source told the World Tribune. "Today, Hamas needs Iran more than ever and is holding back."