TEL AVIV — Hamas security forces have confiscated rockets that were in the possession of Liwaa Al Tawhid — a Palestinian jihadist organization that was formed when its members broke away from the Salah Al Din Brigades, the so-called military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees — a terrorist from the group told Breitbart Jerusalem.
According to Abu Abdelrahman al-Maqdesi, Hamas quietly seized dozens of rockets and almost all the group’s weapons over the past few weeks after raiding a number of storage facilities and production centers run by the jihadist organization.
The campaign to disarm the group was said to have continued for the last three weeks since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and jihadists, including those in Liwaa Al Tawhid, began firing rockets at Israel.
“Hamas arrested 80 operatives of the organization, including members of the leadership and members of the lower ranks,” said al-Maqdesi. All 80 or so are still being held, he claimed, saying, “They’re being tortured by investigators with Hamas’ public security forces.”
Al-Maqdesi said that some of the rockets taken by Hamas were removed from inside walls and underground. “Hamas took the rockets in an irresponsible manner, since part of the activity was carried out in the open, which could have been seen by collaborators of the Jews or by their surveillance planes,” he said, using anti-Semitic terminology.
“This could have led to the Jews bombing or firing at the homes of our brothers where some of the rockets were held,” Maqdesi added. He seemed to be referring to the Israel Defense Forces as “the Jews.” The IDF does not target civilian homes. Indeed, it goes to extraordinary lengths to minimize civilian casualties.
Al-Maqdesi placed responsibility for the safety of its members on Hamas, which, he said, continues to hunt down a number of other operatives.
Meanwhile, another senior jihadist told Breitbart Jerusalem that Hamas continues to put jihadists on trial for conducting military activities in the Gaza Strip. According to Abu Baker al-Maqdesi, Hamas military courts sentenced a Salafist jihadist to 15 years in prison after he was held for months in a facility under the auspices of Hamas’ public security forces.
The jihadist sentenced to prison was identified by al-Maqdesi as a 22-year-old Rafah resident whose name is being withheld by Breitbart Jerusalem pending confirmation. The Rafah resident was accused of firing mortars from a position held by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ so-called military wing, Maqdesi said. He was found guilty of firing at Israel “in violation of national consensus” and belonging to a terrorist group.
His sentence, if confirmed, is among the harshest that Hamas has handed down to jihadists in the Gaza Strip in the last three years, since the organization began its campaign against organizations affiliated with the Islamic State.