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Replacing Hamas

Iran's New Proxy Militia in Gaza

Palestinian youths at the Liberation Youths summer camp, organized by Hamas in Rafah, Gaza, August 1, 2015. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

Since the start of the civil war in Syria, the Iranian-funded Palestinian militant group Hamas has irked Tehran in a number of ways. First, it refused to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of Iran’s allies. Then it further provoked Tehran by establishing closer ties with Turkey, moving its headquarters from the West Bank to Istanbul. In July, top Hamas leaders sought to cultivate ties with another of Iran’s enemies—Saudi Arabia—and even flew to Riyadh to meet with Saudi King Salman.

Iran has responded to Hamas’ defiance by reducing funding and making a serious attempt at empowering another Palestinian terror group in the Gaza Strip. Over the past year and a half, the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, assisted by the Palestinian Operations department of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, has financed and provided media exposure to the al Sabirin (“the patient”) movement in the

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