Hamas cracks down on Gaza following deadly blasts

Three dead in two blasts blamed on Salafi suicide bombings

By
August 28, 2019 20:38
2 minute read.
Palestinians check the scene following an explosion in Gaza City August 27, 2019

Palestinians check the scene following an explosion in Gaza City August 27, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)

Hamas confirmed on Wednesday evening that suicide bombers killed three policemen in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

Iyad al-Bazm, spokesperson for the Hamas-controlled Ministry of the Interior, which is in charge of the police and security forces in the coastal enclave, said that the identity of the suicide bombers is known to Hamas.

He said that Hamas was continuing its investigation into the attacks, but did not provide further details.

The Hamas spokesperson said that investigations have yet to determine the party responsible for the suicide bombings.

One of the assailants was riding a motorcycle and blew himself up at the police checkpoint near the Dahdouh junction in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, while another person blew himself up at the Sahel checkpoint, west of Gaza City.

According to local reports, the family of Eslim al Basous, one of the suicide bombers, disowned him and condemned the “cowardly” attacks.

While the family distances themselves from Basous’s actions, they said that he was the “victim” of a conspiracy by “suspicious parties operating  against the Palestinians' national interests.”

According to al-Bazm, significant progress has been achieved in the investigations. He claimed that the interests of those behind the attacks were the same as Israel's, namely instigating unrest and confusion in the Gaza Strip.

Although sources in the Gaza Strip pointed out that the attacks may have been carried out by Palestinians belonging to Salafi groups, some Hamas officials said they did not rule out the possibility that the rival Fatah faction and Israel were behind the suicide bombings.

The officials expressed outrage over Fatah's response to the attacks, especially remarks by senior Fatah official Munir al-Jaghoub, who said that the suicide bombings were not different that terror attacks targeting Fatah members during Hamas's 2007 violent takeover of the Gaza Strip. Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah, hinted that the attacks were the result of Hamas's "pressure" on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Izzat Risheq, a senior Hamas official, said that the attacks were aimed at stirring unrest and security chaos in the Gaza Strip. "The malicious dream of those who want to create anarchy [in the Gaza Strip] will not be fulfilled," he said. He and several Gaza-based Palestinian factions accused Israel and "its agents" of being behind the attacks, saying the goal is to undermine stability and spread anarchy" in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.‭‮

Meanwhile Egypt has summoned Islamic Jihad officials to Cairo for talks on ways of preserving the ceasefire understands between the Gaza-based terror groups and Israel, sources in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday.

The Islamic Jihad officials will join a Hamas delegation that was also invited to Cairo earlier this week for talks with senior Egyptian intelligence officials.


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