Hamas Under Fire Following Assassination of Gaza Shi’ite Activist

Palestinian Hamas actors dressed up as suicide bombers, one of Hamas (L) and the other of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, in a play depicting them planning the attack on the Israeli port in Ashdood in front of a painting of former Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a burning Star …
Abid Katib/Getty

Shi’ites worldwide are enraged at the assassination of a high-profile activist in Gaza who had been blacklisted by the Hamas government.

Mithqal Alsalmi, 36, officially a Palestinian Authority intelligence officer, had in recent months started advocating Shi’a Islam and bashing Sunnis in online forums and on social media.

A security official in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem that Alsalmi had been going in and out of Hamas prisons, facing charges of promoting Shi’a and criticizing the tenets of Sunni Islam. He had also been threatened by Islamic activists.

Earlier this week, Alsalmi was assassinated in the Shati refugee camp, near the home of former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who is likely to succeed Khaled Meshal as the head of the movement.

Alsalmi was laid to rest on Friday at a mass funeral attended by members of pro-Iranian groups, such as Al Sabareen, an openly Shi’ite militia heavily sponsored by Iran, as well as the Saladin Brigades and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Alsalmi’s assassination was extensively covered in the Shi’ite media, including Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV. Hisham Salem, the chairman of Al Sabareen, tweeted: “Mithqal Alsalmi loved the Prophet’s family [a major tenet of Shi’a Islam, which claims that the caliphate was taken away from the Prophet’s family and given to others] and supported the resistance. He believed in Sunni-Shi’a unity and objected to extremist views.”

The assassination also drew criticism from Hamas’ rivals. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemned the assassination and called on Hamas to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. In a statement, the movement called on Hamas to do whatever it takes to “ensure the freedom of worship and the freedom of expression and face up to the benighted.”

They condemned “the indifference with which the Gaza authorities deal with the emergence of extremist ideologies that receive external support and create an environment that’s conducive to extremist and homicidal jihadists adopting benighted and destructive ideologies.”

The Bahraini Shi’ite researcher Karim Almahroos tweeted: “Hamas, who have sacrificed greatly in the effort to get back the homeland and freedom failed to ensure the rights of Gazans to a stable living and freedom of worship … and killed Alsalmi because he became a Shi’ite.”

“To hell with the [Palestinian] cause, to hell with Abbas, to hell with Meshal and Haniyeh,” wrote Rani Alassal, most likely a Shi’ite. “The Wahhabis killed the Palestinian Mithqal Alsalmi because he chose to become a Shi’ite. That’s the foretold consequence of selling our conscience to Qatar and Saudi Arabia. To hell with the [Palestinian] cause.”

Mohammed Salman tweeted: “Patience, Shi’ites, the family of the Prophet may Allah’s blessing be upon him. You were destined to go to heaven, inshallah, only you can take pride in going through what your imams went through.”

“Mithqal Alsalmi chose truth, that’s why he was murdered,” Dr. Issam Cheato tweeted. “He went to heaven as a martyr, but his words will continue to worry the Wahhabis, the enemies of Allah, humanity and Islam.”

An Iraqi user wrote: “The Islamic State rubbed out the Palestinian Shi’ite Mithqal Alsalmi because he adopted the faith of the Prophet’s family.”

“The martyr Mithqal Alsalmi was killed by the Wahhabis in his country, the same ones who celebrate a Palestinian martyr who leaves his Zionist occupied land and blows himself up among Iraqi citizens,” the Iraqi Adel Alhusaini wrote.