ISIS Supporters in Gaza Give Hamas 48 Hours to End Crackdown

Hamas security forces kill rival militant in shootout; supporters of Islamic State claimed responsibility for rocket attack on Israel last week, leading to wave of arrests, raids.

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Palestinian Hamas security forces display their military skills during a police academy graduation ceremony in Gaza City, Thursday, May 21, 2015.
Palestinian Hamas security forces display their military skills during a police academy graduation ceremony in Gaza City, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Credit: AP

Islamic State supporters in Gaza have given the ruling Hamas movement a 48-hour deadline to halt its crackdown on them.

A statement sent to media on Monday did not say what the ISIS supporters would do if the crackdown continued. It included a claim of responsibility for a rocket fired at Israel from Gaza last week. The claim could not be independently verified.

Hamas has launched a crackdown on radical Islamists following a series of unclaimed bombings, arresting activist and seizing arms.

The extremists accuse Hamas of being soft on Israel and failing to impose religious law. It's unclear how many ISIS supporters are in Gaza, or if any have operational links to the extremist group.

Meanwhile, Hamas security forces killed an activist of a rival Islamist 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, an Islamist militant movement that governs the Gaza Strip, has mounted occasional crackdowns on rival and more radical Salafi groups that support global holy war endorsed by Islamic State and Al-Qaida.

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

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