(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Hamas-led security forces in the Gaza Strip carried out an overnight arrest campaign targeting salafists who have voiced support for the Daesh militant group, a local Palestinian official said Tuesday.
"Security forces last night arrested 20 Salafist elements in the southern and central regions of the Gaza Strip," the source, requesting anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency.
Tension has mounted over the past week between Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, and Gaza-based hardline Salafist groups that Gaza authorities say are promoting Daesh ideology in the Gaza Strip.
Last year, the Daesh militant group overran vast territories in both Syria and Iraq.
Earlier this week, the self-styled "Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem" salafist group claimed that Hamas-led security forces had demolished a mosque frequented by its supporters in the Gaza Strip's Deir al-Balah city.
Gaza's Interior Ministry, for its part, denied the claims, saying that security forces had only dismantled a tent used by a salafist group "to promote Daesh ideology."
Salafist groups in the Gaza Strip say Hamas is holding 30 of their members, including two Salafist leaders.
Interior Ministry official Kamel Abu Madi, however, denied reports that any Salafist militants had been recently detained in the blockaded strip.