Senior Jihadist in Gaza Turns Himself in to Hamas Forces

Supporters of the Jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia shout religious slogans while holding Al-Qaeda-affiliated flags to counter a demonstration by thousands of people against militias in the eastern city of Benghazi on September 21, 2012. Thousands of Libyans rallied against militias in the tense city of Benghazi, drowning out a protest …
ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV — Hamas was handed a significant victory this week in its fight against the Salafist jihadists in the Gaza Strip after one of their most senior members turned himself over to Hamas security forces.

Abu Baker al-Maqdesi, another senior jihadist in the Gaza Strip affiliated with IS ideology, told Breitbart Jerusalem that Mahmoud Taleb, who has been wanted for two years for firing rockets at Israel and trying to perpetrate an attack against Hamas, turned himself in.

According to al-Maqdesi, Taleb decided to turn himself in following mediation between tribal elements and Hamas’ leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.

As part of the mediation, Hamas was said to have promised not to leave Taleb in prison for a long period of time in exchange for his commitment to avoid participation in any so-called armed activity.

Al-Maqdesi said that Hamas is expected to demand that Taleb sign a written commitment not to carry out any attacks against Hamas personnel, the security interests of Egypt or Egyptian soldiers. “But the more problematic clause is Hamas’ demand – as we understand from the sources that mediated on the issue – that Taleb not fire rockets at Israel and abide by the ceasefire agreement between Hamas and the Jews,” Maqdesi stated. The jihadist was apparently referring to Israel as “the Jews.”

Taleb is the second senior jihadist to turn himself in to Hamas in recent weeks. In January, Talaat Abu Jazar, another senior jihadist, did the same under similar circumstances. Abu Jazar was released after a week in prison and acceptance of all Hamas’ demands not to participate in any armed activity of any kind in the Gaza Strip.

According to al-Maqdesi, not all the jihadist factions are pleased with these agreements. Some claim that Hamas promised to reconsider the sentences handed down by military courts against jihadist operatives who have been arrested in recent months.

Over the past year, Hamas has begun trying jihadists in military courts due to an intensification of the fight against Islamic State supporters.

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