Hamas militant AP
A masked Hamas militant takes part in a rally to mark the upcoming 23rd anniversary since the group's foundation, in the Maghazi refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Dec. 7, 2010. Photo by AP
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Hamas's Gaza security forces arrested the purported leader of a global Jihad militant group earlier this week, Haaretz learned on Thursday.

Hisham Saidani, leader of the Tawhid al-Jihad, a group associated with Al Qaida and other global jihad elements, was arrested at home at the central-Gaza refugee camp of al-Maazi after spending 18 months on Hamas' wanted list.

The arrest, which sources said was conducted peacefully and without resistance, came after repeated attempts to nab Saidani, whose group had been operating in the region for several years.

Tawhid al-Jihad had been linked to 2004 attacks against tourist destinations in the Sinai, as well as perpetrating an assault on hotels in the Egyptian peninsula killing 19 people. Recently, the group had widened its Gaza support base.

Following the arrest, Hamas security upped its alertness level fearing that Saidani's men would attempt to avenge his arrest by attacking or kidnapping one of the Strip's Hamas leaders.

Hamas security has been targeting the global jihad network in Gaza for some time now, last month arresting Mahmoud Taleb, another central figure in the Strip that groups associated with global jihad.