Salafi jihadist arrested in Gaza, MSC claims additional rocket fire

A statement released by the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center claimed that Hamas forces arrested a Salafi jihadist in the Gaza Strip on the evening of April 2. According to the statement, the “injured mujahid” was arrested near Rafah. The statement also complained that rather than releasing Salafi jihadists, Hamas continues to add them to their prisons.

Last week, Hamas forces reportedly arrested two Salafi jihadists in Zawaida, raided the home of a member of the Popular Resistance Committees, and kidnapped a Salafi jihadist in Rafah. Press reports suggest that the two jihadists in Zawaida were connected to the MSC, which took credit for a rocket attack on Israel on March 21. On March 30, the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center warned on its Facebook page that preparations were being made by Hamas to launch a mass campaign of arrests against Salafi jihadists in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the Mujahideen Shura in Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC), an al Qaeda-linked group, claimed responsibility for new rocket attacks on Israel, in another statement released by the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center.

According to the latest statement from the MSC, the group fired six rockets today toward Sderot in southern Israel. At least two of the rockets landed in Israeli territory.

The MSC’s statement noted that the attack coincided with the time that students and teachers were returning to school. Israeli students and staff had been out of school for the Passover holiday, which ended in Israel on Monday evening.

Today’s rocket attacks come a day after the MSC claimed to have fired five rockets from Gaza toward Israel. In response to the rocket fire, the Israeli Air Force struck “two extensive terror sites” in the Gaza Strip overnight.

The Israeli airstrikes were the first in Gaza since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in late November 2012.

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