Gaza Salafists at loggerheads with Hamas threaten rocket attacks on Israel

Threat comes in response to Hamas crackdown on jihadists over alleged series of bombings targeting Strip's ruling faction.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
July 21, 2015 19:24
1 minute read.
gaza rocket

Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. [File]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Radical Islamist Salafists in Gaza have threatened to launch projectiles at Israel in retribution for what they call "crimes and conspiracies" conducted by the Strip's ruling faction, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported Tuesday.

The reported announcement came in a joint statement by various Salafist jihadists organizations in the coastal Palestinian enclave.

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The Salafists were responding to an alleged roundup by Hamas of members of the fundamentalist movement suspected of targeting the latter in a string of recent bombings.

"The Salafists have decided to respond to these crimes and these blows dealt by Hamas by pointing rockets towards the occupation (Israel) and carrying out reprisals," AFP quoted the statement issued by Palestinian Salafists as saying.

Salafists claiming allegiance to Islamic State have claimed a series of rockets attacks on Israel in defiance of Hamas' truce with the Jewish state since a war a year ago.

On Sunday, explosions destroyed six cars belonging to members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups in Gaza City, drawing threats of a response.

The blasts hit a district dominated by supporters of Hamas and disrupted celebrations for the Muslim Eid el Fitr holiday.

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The targeted groups issued a joint statement condemning the attackers as "traitors" - suggesting they thought the perpetrators were fellow Palestinians - and promising that they would be "found and punished".

No one claimed responsibility, but Hamas, which dominates the coastal enclave, has in recent months faced violent challenges from Palestinians sympathetic to Islamic State or al-Qaida, and who seek stringent religious rule in Gaza and open war with Israel.

The Salafist statement reported Tuesday accused Hamas of staging the blasts as an excuse to justify the crackdown on extremist rivals. 

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