TEL AVIV — Hamas security forces have arrested Salafist operatives accused of firing rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip. The recent escalation in attacks followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz.
The Hamas government in Gaza has in recent days arrested many Salafi militants, apparently with the aim of halting their groups’ rocket fire into Israel. Hamas has sent a message through several channels, above all Egyptian intelligence, that it seeks to avoid an escalation of the recent violence with Israel.
Last week, Breitbart Jerusalem first reported that Hamas had arrested at least five jihadists suspected of having fired the rockets. The five were all members of Liwaa Al Tawhid, a Salafist sect in Gaza. The investigation into the suspects led to the arrest of four others.
Meanwhile, Liwaa Al Tawhid official Abu Ibrahim al-Maqdesi told Breitbart Jerusalem that Hamas and its security forces have confiscated rockets that were under his organization’s control. “Since the beginning of the rocket fire, Hamas has arrested our brothers and confiscated rockets that were in our storage facilities,” he said.
According to al-Maqdesi, Hamas raided the organization’s storage facility in Rafah in southern Gaza along with a number of storage facilities in the north of the Strip. “They did this openly amongst the people and under the watchful eyes of Israeli intelligence in Gaza,” al-Maqdesi claimed.
In addition to the raid on the organization’s storage facilities, al-Maqdesi said Hamas has arrested 26 members of his organization, most for allegedly firing the rockets “since the idiot Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Zionist entity. The rockets confiscated by Hamas were meant to defend Jerusalem.”
The Palestinian jihadist complained: “Hamas is working for the Jewish entity. It’s fighting us to prevent rocket fire despite claiming to the Palestinian public that it is leading the fight for Jerusalem and Al Aqsa and despite the fact that the Palestinian cause is confronting its biggest challenge since the creation of the Jewish entity. But in spite of Hamas’ moves, moves that don’t deter us, we will continue to take action for Jerusalem and Al Aqsa.”