(August 28, 2019 / JNS) Hamas declared a state of emergency and began carrying out mass arrests of pro-Islamic State individuals and other radical Salafist organization members following the killing of three Hamas policemen in a series of explosions in Gaza, Palestinian sources said on Wednesday.
According to reports, two explosions believed to have been ISIS suicide-bombings rocked police checkpoints near Gaza City on Tuesday.
“Two members of the police were martyred as a result of an explosion that took place near a police checkpoint at the Dahdouh intersection,” said Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozm. “Mobilization of all police and security forces has been declared to follow up on security developments in the aftermath of the two explosions.”
“The wicked hands that perpetrated this crime will not evade punishment,” he added.
The third policeman was seriously wounded in one of the blasts and subsequently died of his injuries.
The victims, all traffic policemen, were identified as Salameh al-Nadim, 32; Wael Khalifa, 45; and Alaa al-Gharbaili, 32.
Though Hamas originally blamed Israel for the blasts, subsequent reports indicate one of the bombers had previously been arrested by Hamas.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh encouraged Gaza to “to maintain its cool” as it has “regularly done,” and said the situation would be dealt with in a “forceful and wise manner.” He called on Gaza residents to “support our security forces in restoring security and order and foiling this damned plot.”
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