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Hamas bans Shia group in Gaza

It has been reported that the de facto Palestinian government in Gaza has decided to dissolve the Harakat Al-Sabireen (Movement of Those Who Endure with Patience) as well as ban the group's activities. The Shia group is affiliated with Iran.

The decision to dissolve Harakat Al-Sabireen was made after local citizens lobbied Hamas which is, in the absence of officials from the Ramallah Palestinian Authority, still the de facto government in the territory. Local Palestinians regard the movement as "the door to Shia ideology in Gaza".

The movement does not deny its absolute loyalty to the Iranian government; indeed, its logo is very similar to Lebanon's Hezbollah. In addition, a picture of Ayatollah Khomeini hangs on the wall of its headquarters.

Hisham Salem founded the movement about two years ago after he separated from Islamic Jihad. Hamas arrested him for a short time but gave no reason for doing so.

The government in Gaza is expected to release an official statement shortly to announce the decision officially, and the reasons behind it.

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