Hamas terrorists in Gaza
Hamas terrorists in GazaFlash 90

Hamas' security forces in the Gaza Strip on Sunday arrested two locals who fired four rockets towards Israeli territory on Thursday, thereby violating the ceasefire and leading to a retaliatory attack by Israel, Palestinian Arab sources in Gaza said, according to Haaretz.

According to the reports, the two Palestinian Arabs who were arrested are not directly affiliated with Hamas, and their action effectively served Israeli interests by providing it cause to attack Hamas' military infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

The two are reportedly residents of Beit Hanun in the northern part of the Strip, and affiliated with the extremist Salafi sect of Islam.

According to reports from Gaza, Hamas and other factions in the enclave have said they would act against anyone who independently breaks the ceasefire with Israel.

On Thursday evening, after three months of quiet, red color sirens were heard in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip border.

One rocket was fired towards the area and was intercepted by the Iron Dome system. There were no injuries. In addition, there were three other failed launches of rockets that exploded in Gazan territory.

In retaliation for the rocket fire, IDF fighter jets targeted an underground military site in the Gaza Strip used as a rocket developing and manufacturing complex belonging to Hamas.

“The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for all terror activity emanating from the Gaza Strip and it will face the consequences of the security violations against Israel,” the IDF said in a statement following the strikes.

While Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, it has been challenged by small hardline factions, some of them inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS), who say there should be a stricter interpretation of Islam. Some of these groups carried out sporadic rocket attacks into Israel.

Salafists in Gaza, who are believed to be responsible for Thursday’s rocket fire, in particular have clashed with its Hamas rulers, challenging what they perceive is Hamas’s moderate interpretation of Islam.

In August of 2017, a suicide bomber allegedly linked to ISIS killed a Hamas guard in southern Gaza along the border with Egypt, in a rare attack against Hamas.

Hamas security forces later raided an outpost in Gaza belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees, which is close to the Salafist movement and affiliated with ISIS.