Islamic State Supporters claims mortar attack on Hamas in Gaza

Illustrative photo of men holding up an Islamic State flag on July 18, 2014. (AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

Illustrative photo of men holding up an Islamic State flag on July 18, 2014. (AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

GAZA CITY – A jihadist group that recently emerged in the Gaza Strip claimed Friday a mortar attack on a base belonging to the Islamist Hamas movement in charge of the blockaded territory.

In a statement posted online, the group calling itself Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem said it fired mortar rounds at a base used by Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.

Witnesses told AFP they heard explosions close to Khan Yunis.

A bomb attack this week targeted Hamas’s security headquarters in Gaza after radical Islamists issued a threatening message calling for the release of prisoners.

Hamas security forces arrested a Salafist leader last month, alleging that he was a supporter of the Islamic State group (IS) that holds vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

Gazan jihadists have pledged allegiance to IS in the past, but there has been no confirmation from the group itself that it has a presence in the coastal enclave.

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