Hamas kills Salafist supporter of Daesh after besieging home

Published June 2nd, 2015 - 11:18 GMT
Hamas security forces killed a member of a Salafi militant group in a shoot-out at his Gaza home on Tuesday, witnesses said. (AFP/File)
Hamas security forces killed a member of a Salafi militant group in a shoot-out at his Gaza home on Tuesday, witnesses said. (AFP/File)

Hamas security forces killed an activist of a militant group in a shoot-out at his Gaza home on Tuesday, witnesses said.

A spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry identified the man, Younis al-Honnor, only as a "lawbreaker," and said he was shot dead after firing at security officers who came to arrest him.

Local residents who witnessed the incident said Honnor was an activist in a Salafi group.

Hamas, a militant movement that governs the Gaza Strip, has mounted occasional crackdowns on rival and more radical Salafi groups that support Daesh (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

"(Honnor) had booby-trapped the house he was in. Explosive belts, explosive devices and rifle-propelled grenades were found inside," the spokesman said.

Tensions between Hamas and hard-line religious Salafists have been rising in recent months, with over 100 alleged ISIS supporters being arrested so far, according to Israel Radio.

Groups such as The Salafist Trend, who use social media to express their support for Daesh, accuse Hamas of torturing its members in prisons, monitoring its activities in cities and tracking its movements across refugee camps throughout Gaza, according to Palestinian media.

Palestinian news agency Ma'an cited a press release issued by the group last month warning Hamas of the consequences of continuing its activity against The Salafist Trend.

"Once again we ask the wise people of Gaza to stop the ongoing Hamas criminality and abusive detention of our brothers before it's too late," the statement read.

Hamas has cracked down on Salafist groups in the past, particularly those on the violent fringes, seeing them as a threat to their authority.

By Daniel J. Roth, Reuters

This story has been edited from the source material.


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