Hamas accused senior Palestinian Authority officials of creating Salafist groups in order to provoke chaos in Gaza, including a recent spate of bombings.
By Lauren Calin, World Israel News
Hamas accused senior Palestinian Authority officials on Wednesday of being behind a spate of bombings in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas interior ministry implied that the PA is directly involved in the creation of Salafist (extremist branch of Islam) groups in Gaza for the purpose of creating chaos. The PA has not responded to the allegations.
Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bezem specifically named Maj. Gen. Sami Nasman, adviser to the PA head of intelligence for Gaza, and Mahmoud al-Habbash, adviser on religious affairs to President Mahmoud Abbas, as being involved.
The information came from the interrogation of Naim Deib al-Ful, who was arrested in al-Shujaiyeh in Gaza City after attempting to detonate a car bomb. Al-Ful said he had been directed by Habbash to carry out a number of such attacks.
Bezem said that PA officials were “directly and indirectly exploiting some young Palestinians” to undermine Hamas in Gaza. “The same entities have recently tried to take advantage of the regional conflicts to create a state of chaos in the Gaza Strip through creating groups with different names and forms,” he said.
Hamas is currently engaged in a crackdown on Salafist groups in Gaza. Last month, Hamas’s security headquarters were bombed mere hours after a group calling itself Supporters of the Islamic State in Palestine posted an internet threat. Another Salafist group, called Sheikh Omar Hadid-Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for shooting a Katyusha rocket at Ashkelon, Israel, on Saturday.
“Gaza security services will use an iron fist against anyone who attempts to mess with Gaza security,” Bezem said.
“We call on the prime minister [Rami Hamdallah] to declare a clear and honest position toward the sabotage actions in the Gaza Strip. We are prepared to hand over to him the details of the investigations,” he concluded.