Hamas shutters association headed by Gaza Shiite leader

Friday 11/03/2016
Hamas says association has been receiving Iranian funding

GAZA CITY - Gaza's interior ministry said Sunday it had dissolved an association led by the head of the only Palestinian Shiite group for conducting "political activities" under the guise of charity.
"Al-Baqiat Al-Salihat association was recently dissolved because its administration had violated the law governing the actions of charitable organisations by engaging in political activities," said a spokesman for the ministry controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement.
The spokesman, Iyad al-Bozom, did not provide details on the activities.
A month ago the association, which receives Iranian funding, had been warned to comply with the law, Bozom said.
"Since that did not happen, the association is now considered dissolved," he said.
The head of Al-Baqiat Al-Salihat, Hisham Salem, whose home was targeted by a bomb last month, in a statement condemned the "arbitrary decision lacking a clear legal basis" against his association.
The Hamas rulers of Gaza had targeted it with "a tyrannical policy contrary to public interest and that doesn't take people's needs into account unless it's in its own interest," Salem said.
Shiite Islam is considered a foreign import from Iran among Palestinians who are exclusively Sunni Muslims or Christians.
Salem formed Al-Sabirin, the only Palestinian Shiite Muslim movement, in 2014.
He is a former member of Islamic Jihad -- a group that also takes inspiration from the Shiite Iranian revolution, but which is Sunni.

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