Shiite Islamist movement has been operating in the Gaza Strip with full Iranian sponsorship

800px-Hezbollah_iran_hamasFor the first time, a Shiite Islamist movement has been operating in the Gaza Strip with full Iranian sponsorship, The Times of Israel has learned. The movement is named “A-Sabrin” — from the Arabic word for patience.

A-Sabrin runs several Shiite charity organizations, which benefit from full Iranian support and encourage the spread of Shiite Islam.

The presence of such a movement in the Gaza Strip is unheard-of, as is the fact that the Sunni Hamas movement – apparently due to the financial support it receives from Shiite Iran — has been tolerating its presence.

Still, the number of Palestinian Muslims, the vast majority of whom are Sunnis, to convert has been limited. (While there have been Sunni families from Bethlehem in the West Bank who converted to Shiite Islam, it a highly unusual occurrence in the Strip.) Read more at The Times of Israel.

Islamic State claims Texas attack, its first on US soil

isisThe Islamic State jihadist group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for its first attack on US soil, a shooting at an event in Texas showcasing cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed that left the gunmen dead.

“Two of the soldiers of the caliphate executed an attack on an art exhibit in Garland, Texas, and this exhibit was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Mohammed,” the jihadist group said.

“We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things,” the group announced. Read more at The Times of Israel.

‘This is our country, there is no other,’ says teary-eyed Israeli-Arab news anchor

Aharish in ArabicLucy Aharish, an Israeli-Arab news anchor and actress, was among the 14 torch lighters in the official ceremony kicking off Israel’s celebrations of 67 years of independence on Wednesday night. Almost breaking down at the ceremony, she was the only one of the honorees to give part of her brief address in Arabic.

Aharish, 33, a Muslim Arab whose parents hail from Nazareth but who was educated in Jewish institutions, instantly became a target of far-right criticism when it was announced earlier this month that she had accepted the honor of lighting a torch at the state Independence Day ceremony.

Some left-wing critics said her accepting the honor constituted an agreement to serve as a fig leaf of the government. Read more at The Times of Israel.

Israel helps Kenya deal with grief management after mass killing of Christian students

Garissa_downtownFollowing the horrific massacre by the radical Muslim terror group al-Shabab from Somalia which killed over 150 Christian students in Kenya, the Israeli relief group IsraAID is helping Kenyan government officials deal with the tragedy.

IsraAID is currently holding discussions with Kenyan government counterparts as well as with the local Kenyan Red Cross and UN officials in hopes of creating a grief and disaster management plan for the government, modeled off the Israeli plan.

Were basing it on the Israeli model,”  founding director of IsraAID, Sachar Zahavi told The Jerusalem Post. “IsraAIDs focus would be to provide post trauma training and treatment to help the affected community and service providers cope with their grief.”

Over 150 Kenyans were murdered at Garissa University College in the northeastern part of the country last Thursday. The attack was perpetrated by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group that has killed over 400 people in Kenya since 2013. Read more at The Jerusalem Post.