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Palestinian Terror Groups: Harakat al-Sabireen

Harakat al-Sabireen (“Movement of Those Who Endure”) is an Iranian backed terrorist group that was established in 2014. It is believed to receive up to $10 million per year from Iran via smuggling tunnels and underground banking activities.

Harakat al-Sabireen operates primarily in Gaza and is led by Hisham Salem, a former leader of the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a State Department designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).

The group is dedicated to “the Shari’a obligation of jihad in the path of God” against “the Zionist enemy” until “the liberation of all” of Palestine. Standing apart from other Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas and the Salafi jihadis of Gaza

Harakat al-Sabireen has carried out terrorist activities targeting Israel and pursues an anti-American agenda. These planned and executed terrorist attacks include firing rockets into Israel in September 2015 and detonating an explosive device targeting an Israeli army patrol in December 2015. Harakat al-Sabireen also previously established a rocket factory in Gaza that was destroyed in the summer of 2014. The group has used social media to incite violence and congratulate individuals who died attacking Israelis.

Israeli officials are concerned the group is pulling recruits from other local militant groups, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hamas.

The group’s logo resembles the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps logo and Hezbollah’s flag. According to the Middle East Forum, “this affinity with Hezbollah and Iran is further reflected in various stances Harakat al-Sabireen has taken, including effusive praise and offering of condolences to Hezbollah for its fighters killed in an Israeli airstrike in Quneitra in Syria, condemning the Saudi intervention in Yemen as an ‘attack on the Yemeni people,’ and calling on Palestinians to work with ‘the Syrian state’ (i.e., the Assad regime) to drive the Islamic State out of Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.”

The U.S. State Department announced the designation of Harakat al-Sabireen as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT), under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, in January 2018. The E.O. imposes sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. These designations seek to deny Harakat al-Sabireen resources to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all their property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

Sources: Adam Kredo, “New Iranian-Backed Terror Group Makes Inroads in West Bank, Gaza,” Free Beacon (January 20, 2016);
Middle East Forum;
State Department Terrorist Designations of Ismail Haniyeh, Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al-Thawra, and Harakat Sawa'd Misr (HASM), U.S. State Department, (January 31, 2018).