Iran Shuns Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Favor of Shiite Terror Group
Iran is changing its priorities where employing proxies in Gaza is concerned, the London-based, Saudi-backed Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Sunday.
According to the report, Tehran is scaling back support for Sunni terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), while throwing more weight behind the Shiite Al-Sabirin movement — a move that has aroused great anger within the scorned organizations.
Iranian support has already enabled Al-Sabirin to pay the salaries of its 400 employees and arm its militants. This amounts to $300-$400 per month for most, and $700 per month for those in leadership positions.
Al-Sabirin, whose flag is a variation of that of Hezbollah in Lebanon, was formed within the last three years and operates mainly in northern Gaza. Its Secretary General is Hisham Salem, a former PIJ leader with close ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah leadership.
Last week, Israel announced that it had killed 28-year-old Ahmad Al-Sirhi, who was part of the leadership of Al-Sabirin’s military wing. Israel’s Shin Bet security services said that Sirhi was responsible for carrying out sniper and shooting attacks across the Gaza border over the last few weeks.
Al-Sabirin acknowledged Sirhi’s membership and eulogized him by vowing to continue carrying out attacks against Israel.