Hamas headquarters target of attack by dissident Islamic group

Hamas has been clamping down on fringe Islamist movements in the Gaza strip, arresting members of Salafist groups and keeping tabs of others throughout the coastal enclave.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 5, 2015 09:19
1 minute read.
hamas rafah

Hamas members at an anti-Israel rally in Rafah in southern Gaza, November 13, 2014. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Hamas' headquarters in the Gaza Strip was the target of an attack Monday, after a fringe Islamist movement issued a threatening message demanding the release of its members from prison, according to Palestinian media.

The Ma'an News Agency reported that the bomb blast damaged the perimeter wall of the building.

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Hamas representative were not available for immediate comment after the incident.

The attack occurred just hours after an online threat was posted by an anti-Hamas group threatening to "act against chosen targets" if members of its organization were not freed within 72 hours.

"Hamas and its security forces have 72 hours from the release of this statement to free all Salafist (militant) prisoners," said the statement from a group calling itself the Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem, Ma'an reported.

"Our soldiers are ready to act against chosen targets at the end of this ultimatum," the statement added.

This comes on the heels of recent claims by a group calling itself the Salafist Trend which accuses Hamas of torturing its members in prison and surveilling its supporters across the coastal enclave.

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The Salafist movement has been the target of a Hamas crackdown  in recent months, being perceived as a threat to Hamas' monopoly on power.

Hamas security forces arrested a Salafist leader last month, alleging that he was a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS)  that holds vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, Ma'an added.

According to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, the majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip reject IS - 86% of which say the terrorist organization "does not represent true Islam."

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