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."

 

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison