First Published: 2013-04-04

 

Salafists denounce Hamas: From resistance to crackdown on resistance

 

Sources close to Salafist group say Hamas which rules Gaza has arrested two Islamists in connection with rocket attacks on Israel.

 

Middle East Online

Crackdown on Salafists has become regular in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Palestinian Territories) - The Palestinian movement Hamas which rules Gaza has arrested two Islamists in connection with rocket attacks on Israel, sources close to a Salafist group said Thursday.

The Hamas interior ministry, however, denied any arrests had been made for "resistance against the occupation."

Hamas's "internal security apparatus in the last two days arrested two mujahedeen. One was released after several hours. The other is still detained," a Salafist source said on condition of anonymity.

The source said it was part of a "campaign to pursue Salafists after the targeting of Israel with rockets."

A Gaza-based Salafist group claimed firing rockets at Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday that landed in open fields, causing no damage or casualties. In response, Israel carried out two air strikes, also without causing harm.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council said the rocket attacks were a response to the death of a Palestinian who died of cancer while serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison.

Interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan denied there had been any "arrests for resistance to the enemy (Israel)," saying such action would "not help national consensus (unity)."

The Islamist movement Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, has regularly cracked down on Salafists in the territory, notably in 2009.

"Our security apparatus is part of the resistance and does not arrest anyone who resists the occupation. On the contrary, we encourage resistance," Shahwan said.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council, meanwhile, urged "the rational-minded in Hamas to pressure its security to release Salafists" in a statement on Thursday.

In response to the rocket attacks Israel has tightened a maritime restriction barring Gaza fishermen from operating more than three nautical miles off the Mediterranean coast.

The already stringent limits were tightened from six miles on March 21 after Salafist militants fired two rockets at southern Israel as US President Barack Obama was visiting the country.

Israel also closed down Kerem Shalom, Gaza's only goods crossing, and imposed tight restrictions on travel into and out of the territory via the northern Erez terminal which was limited to medical emergencies only.

A week later, the restrictions on the two crossings were lifted and Kerem Shalom and Erez began operating as normal.

But the fishing limitations were left in place, Palestinian officials said, with the Israeli army confirming it was a political decision taken after an uptick in rocket fire this week.

"It was decided after continuous firing of rockets today to keep the fishing zone limited to three miles until there is a political decision (to lift it)," a military spokesman said on Wednesday.

"This is a political issue and we're waiting for the politicians' decision to be made."

Last week, two Israeli rights groups Gisha and B'Tselem, demanded that Israel lift the fishing restrictions, saying the measure amounted to "collective punishment."

 

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition

UN Chief, Saudi prince discuss situation in Yemen

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Heat, long fasting days take their toll on Cairo residents

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Turkey confirms new accession talks with EU

Saudi suspect found dead after gunfight in Shiite town

Suspended Kuwait sues IOC for damages

Erdogan lashes out at EU treatment of Turkey

Turkey blocks visit of German delegation to Incirlik air base

Trump goes on blistering offensive against Clinton

EU negotiators endorse new border force proposal

Head of EU parliament hopes to arrange meeting of Israeli, Palestinian leaders

Turkish prosecutors demand 14 years for activists

Final push for votes as EU leaders warn over Brexit

Egypt government appeals court block on islands’ transfer to Saudis

Assad names Imad Khamis as new Prime Minister

Turkey wants Britain to stay in EU 'under any circumstances'

EU to open new membership talks with Turkey

Turkey arrests 3 IS suspects over 'LGBT rally plot'

Yemen rebels say consensus president crucial for peace deal

Fallujah 'almost cleared' of ISIS jihadists

Dawn prayers stoke fears for Turkey's Hagia Sophia

Turkish FM says normalisation deal depends on Israel

25 civilians killed in air raids on Syria’s Raqa

UN urges international community to aid civilians who fled Fallujah

UN envoy proposes roadmap for Yemen peace

Israel to open mission at NATO headquarters

6 Jordan soldiers killed in car bomb attack

France's Peugeot-Citroen returns to Iran in €400 million deal

Israel says Palestinian teenagers were shot 'mistakenly'

Pro-government forces prepare 'decisive' assault on Libya's Sirte

Huthi rebels advance towards Yemen's biggest airbase

17 bids for canal project linking Red Sea and Dead Sea

Egypt court deals blow to cession of Red Sea islands to Saudi