Gaza Al-Qaida Affiliate Seeks Clout Through Rocket Fire on Israel

Flickr/Amir Farshad Ebraham

TEL AVIV – An Al-Qaida affiliate in the Gaza Strip has claimed responsibility for firing rockets into Israel for the second time in less than a month.

Ajnad al Makdas (Soldiers of the Temple), a radical jihadi group, said it was behind the firing of a rocket from Gaza aimed at nearby Jewish neighborhoods on Sunday.

“One rocket sowed panic among the Jews, and we tell them: This is just the beginning,” the group said in a statement.

The rocket landed in an open area with no reports of injuries, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

There were reports of another rocket fired from Gaza on Saturday, but that projectile fell short and landed inside the coastal enclave.  The same al-Qaida-affiliate claimed responsibility for that rocket, as well.

Israel responded to the most recent rocket fire by striking a Hamas military facility in the Gaza Strip on Monday.

In the wake of Israeli retaliation, Hamas security forces detained three jihadi activists on suspicion that they carried out the attack, Breitbart Jerusalem has learned.

Iyad Elbazem, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry in Gaza, confirmed to Breitbart Jerusalem that suspects were detained but refused to divulge information about their identity and organizational affiliation.

Last month, Breitbart Jerusalem reported Hamas in the Gaza Strip has been hard at work attempting to manufacture rockets capable of reaching Tel Aviv. It has also shared its rocket-making capabilities with other terrorist organizations in the coastal enclave, according to security sources familiar with the matter.

Many Gaza residents say that the number of explosions heard across the Strip has greatly increased.

The Israeli army confirmed to Breitbart Jerusalem that Hamas has been engaged in more rocket test launches into the sea.

Meanwhile, the al-Qaida-affiliate’s claim of responsibility for Monday’s rocket launching may spell bad news for Israel, seemingly evidencing a power struggle between al-Qaida and IS ideologues competing for influence by targeting the Jewish state. Previous recent rocket launchings were claimed by IS-aligned organizations.