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Hamas nabs purported Islamic State leader in Gaza

Des membres des brigades Ezzedine al-Qassam, la branche armée du Hamas, lors d'un défilé militaire contre Israël, le 25 juillet 2017 à Gaza
AFP
Hamas' internal security service confirmed it had arrested several other jihadists

Hamas police detained a suspected jihadist leader in Gaza on Saturday, a security source said, the latest in a series of arrests of those accused of Islamic State group ideology.

"This morning, security forces arrested Nour Issa, 27, who is a leader of the deviant thought movement and is from Bureij Camp in central Gaza, along with others," the source said, using a phrase Hamas officials routinely use to refer to jihadists, including IS.

The internal security service confirmed on its Facebook page that it had made a number of arrests.

"One of the leaders of the deviant thought has been arrested along with others," it said, without giving a name. Hamas has arrested a number of Salafist and IS-linked figures in recent years. 

In June it emerged that Hamas were putting 13 jihadists on trial in a military court for allegedly trying to fire rockets into Israel and for collaborating with Islamic State militants in the Egypt's Sinai peninsula. 

The Islamist Hamas movement has run Gaza for a decade but it has been challenged by small hardline factions, some of them inspired by IS, who advocate a stricter, Salafist interpretation of the faith.

Some have carried out sporadic rocket attacks into Israel in defiance of an informal truce agreed by Hamas.

In August, a suicide bomber allegedly linked to IS killed a Hamas guard in southern Gaza along the border with Egypt, in a rare attack against the Islamists.

Hamas has arrested a number of Salafist and IS-linked figures.

In June Hamas and IS sparred over who had carried out a terror attack in Jerusalem that killed a young Israeli policewoman. 

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