JAFFA, Israel – The leader of a pro-Iran militia in the Gaza Strip has lauded Iran’s “unremitting support” for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause.
Hisham Salem, the secretary-general of Al Sabireen, an Islamic Jihad splinter group, told the Arabic service of Iran’s national television that “no other country has given the Palestinian cause, the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance what Iran has given them, just like it has to the oppressed and the underprivileged all over the world.”
Al Sabireen has become Iran’s darling in Gaza, and has benefited from hefty financial support during a time when Iran downsized its transfers to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Conversely, the organization has been accused of promoting Shia Islam as well as Iran’s interests.
Salem further said that, since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has treated Israel as an illegal entity and called on Muslims around the world to help the Palestinians liberate their land “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.”
“Aside from Allah, the Palestinian resistance owes its unprecedented strength at present to the determination of the Palestinian people and to Iran’s support,” he said.
“It’s not just quantity, it’s quality as well,” he continued. “When the Islamic Republic first became involved the Palestinian Resistance only had knives and stones. Today, thanks to Iran, the Resistance has missiles whose range covers the entirety of occupied Palestine, it has spy aircraft and other facilities as well.”
“Iran is bending over backwards to send the Resistance high-quality weapons. To this end, it has risked military and security stakes. Iran is unabashed about its support for the Palestinians, and says it will continue to give the Resistance whatever it can, and that its motivations are ideological, religious and Quranic.”
“The pressure applied on Iran results from its position on Palestine, not because of a nuclear program or anything else. And despite that, we have never seen Iran backing away from its commitment to the Palestinian resistance. In every negotiation it was ever involved in, it has never used Palestine as a bargaining chip.”