Wave of arrests in Gaza as Hamas looks for 'collaborators'

Hamas has arrested dozens of suspects accused of having aided Israel in killing of senior Hamas official.

Tal Polon ,

Hamas rally in Gaza
Hamas rally in Gaza
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Since the killing of senior Hamas official Mazen Faqha at the end of March, Hamas has made dozens of arrests inside Gaza of those it suspects to be linked to the shooting, according to Yisrael Hayom.

Several days after Faqha was shot dead, Hamas officials had declared that the group was working “non-stop” to locate those suspected of involvement.

Hamas blames Israel for the killing, also saying that it believed the killers to have received help from inside Gaza.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal had said that “the military and political leadership of Hamas is ready to meet the occupier's challenge." Subsequently, Hamas ramped up propaganda efforts against Israel, publishing media that portrayed Israeli defense officials and ambassadors inside the crosshairs of a sniper rifle.

A senior Hamas official in Gaza confirmed to Yisrael Hayom reports in Palestinian media that arrests so far include several operatives from Salafist groups in Gaza at war with Hamas for not being “Islamic” enough.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has dismissed Hamas claims that Israel was behind the shooting, suggesting on Sunday that a member of Hamas itself was likely the perpetrator.

"Hamas is known to have internal conflicts," Liberman had said. "Let them look for the perpetrator among their own members."



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