Hamas arrests senior Islamic State leaders in Gaza — reporttimesos The move comes after the terror group mended relations with Egypt, which is fighting a bitll - THE LATEST NEWS HEADLINES TODAY

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Hamas arrests senior Islamic State leaders in Gaza — reporttimesos The move comes after the terror group mended relations with Egypt, which is fighting a bitll



Hamas arrests senior Islamic State leaders in Gaza — reporttimesos
The move comes after the terror group mended relations with Egypt, which is fighting a bitll

Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, at a rally to mark Land Day near the Israeli border with east Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 30, 2017. (AFP/Said Khatib)
Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, at a rally to mark Land Day near the Israeli border with east Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 30, 2017. (AFP/Said Khatib)
Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip have arrested four senior Islamic State members, including the group’s leader in the coastal enclave, media reports said Saturday.

The four were holding a meeting in the house of one of the members in the southern Gaza city of Rafah when they were arrested. A large stash of weapons were also found, Hebrew media reports said.

Among those arrested was Nur Issa, said to be the Islamic State chief in Gaza.

The arrests come amid attempts by Hamas and the Fatah party to resolve a decade-long split and see the Palestinian Authority return to rule over Gaza. Talks are set to continue in Egypt next week.

Egypt has been key to facilitating the deal after Hamas and Cairo mended long-strained ties.

Relations between Hamas and Egypt were hampered, particularly over Hamas’ support for Islamic militants fighting Egypt in the Sinai and Hamas ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

As part of the rapprochement, Hamas has been trying to convince Egypt that it is a reliable security partner. It has deployed more troops along the border with Egypt’s northern Sinai region, where the Egyptian military is battling the so-called “Sinai Province” of IS.

Hamas also recently made a gesture toward Egypt with a new policy document that dropped its longtime association with the Muslim Brotherhood and identified itself as a Palestinian movement fighting only against what it calls Israeli occupation.

Egypt also controls the enclave’s southern border, which is mostly closed for the 2 million residents of Gaza as part of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. Israel and Egypt have enforced the blockade, citing security reasons, since the Hamas terror group seized control of Gaza a decade ago.

Hamas previously had close cooperation with IS.

Hamas had refused to crack down on smuggling by IS through tunnels run by its members under the Gaza-Sinai border. Instead, the Palestinian terror group has looked to this activity as a source of income, taxing imports.

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