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Salafists say Hamas made arrests for rocket attacks
Published Thursday 04/04/2013 (updated) 06/04/2013 12:05
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A bomb technician collects the remains of a rocket launched from the
Gaza Strip near Sderot in Israel on April 3. (AFP/David Buimovitch)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas has arrested two hardline Islamists in connection with rocket attacks on Israel, sources close to a Salafist group in the Gaza Strip said Thursday.

The Hamas interior ministry, however, denied any arrests had been made for "resistance against the occupation."

Hamas's "internal security apparatus in the last two days arrested two mujahedeen. One was released after several hours. The other is still detained," a Salafist source said on condition of anonymity.

The source said it was part of a "campaign to pursue Salafists after the targeting of Israel with rockets."

A Gaza-based Salafist group claimed firing rockets at Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday that landed in open fields, causing no damage or casualties. In response, Israel carried out two airstrikes, also without causing harm.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council said the rocket attacks were a response to the death of a Palestinian prisoner detained by Israel who died of cancer while serving a life sentence.

Interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan denied there had been any "arrests for resistance to the enemy (Israel)," saying such action would "not help national consensus (unity)."

Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, has regularly cracked down on hardline Salafists in the territory, notably in 2009.

"Our security apparatus is part of the resistance and does not arrest anyone who resists the occupation. On the contrary, we encourage resistance," Shahwan said.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council, meanwhile, urged "the rational-minded in Hamas to pressure its security to release Salafists" in a statement on Thursday.
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
04/04/2013 18:14
The Palestinians are our partners for peace? Somebody want to explain why Israel should expect to be able to sign a peace treaty with the Palestinians - given that Hamas remains in power in Gaza? We are realists. The best we can hope for right now is to manage the mess and minimize the violence and war that Hamas wants to bring.

2 ) Outlier / USA
04/04/2013 19:15
Conviction followed by either a long prison sentence or execution would serve as a deterrent to like minded renegades.

3 ) Mel / USA
05/04/2013 16:30
#1:Brian: "..."manage the mess","minimize the violence","war" that Hamas wants to bring"LOL!FACT! Why would Zionism want to stop a process it CREATED,since 1947-8,which conveniently BLOCKS any valid Palestinian State?Isreal thrives on Palestinian RETALIATION....repeat-retaliation-&resistance against Israel's brutal,powerful military occupation &human/economic rights-blockade(collective punishment)against MILLIONS of civilians who have no HI-TECH military for defense?Israel is A MESS,by choice!!!
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