GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An ultraconservative Islamic group says Hamas security forces have detained 20 of its members in a crackdown on rocket fire from Gaza on southern Israel.
The little-known group — the Mujahadeen Shura Council of Jerusalem — posted word of the sweep on its website on Wednesday. It said its members were rounded up this week “to prevent rocket fire from Gaza.”
The crackdown is the first in more than a year on ultraconservative Salafi groups operating in Gaza. Hamas currently is believed to be interested in avoiding a conflict with Israel over rocket fire.
At least five rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip in the past week. All the rockets landed in unpopulated areas causing no injuries or damage.
The Mujahadeen Shura Council of Jerusalem claimed responsibility for a deadly infiltration into Israel along its border with Egypt’s Sinai peninsula in June, which killed an Israeli Arab.