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Rockets Expert Killed in Israeli Air Strike in Gaza

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Intelligence Bulletin

Information Date: April 30 2013

Event Date: April 30 2013

Information Item: Rockets Expert Killed in Israeli Air Strike in Gaza

Information Platform: Media

Source: Variety

Source Reliability: Reliable

Information Validity: Valid

Relevant Information: The militant killed was involved in recent rocket attacks on Israeli communities. A Salafi Jihadist group known as Majlis Shurah Al-mujaheedin – Aknaf Beit Almakdas claimed responsibility for these attacks.

According to unconfirmed information, the militant killed was member of a Salafi –Jihadist group called Kataeb Seif Al-Islam (Palestine) it is the first time I have come across the name of this alleged group. Other information suggests that the militant killed was in fact a freelance expert on explosives who offer his services for payment. In that context, according to my sources, the militant killed was also working as a security guard in the Shifa medical complex in the Gaza Strip. That complex is owned by Hamas and its employees are on Hamas’ payroll.

Though publicly condemning the killing, Hamas sheds no tear over the killing of this militant. In fact, for political and pragmatic reasons, Hamas makes great efforts to restrain and control the Salafi-Jihadi groups in the Gaza Strip and to prevent them from shooting rockets into Israel. According to information I evaluate as reliable, units of Hamas’ military wing Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades recently deployed forces in different areas of the Gaza Strip in order to prevent shooting of rockets into Israel.

In addition, Hamas persecutes arrests and tortures Salafi-Jihadist militants. In that regard, Hamas also cooperates closely with the Egyptian Intelligence. According to information I evaluate as reliable, Egyptian Intelligence Officers are interrogating Salafi-Jihadist militants who are imprisoned in Ansar prison – Hamas’ major prison in the Gaza Strip.

The Assessment: The killing of the Salafi–Jihadist militant clearly does not “violate” the unwritten “game rules” between Israel and the major Palestinian organization in the Gaza Strip – Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine (PIJ)

Also, and no less important – the mutual understanding between Hamas and PIJ is that in such an event, the Palestinian response should be limited and restrained (mostly in the form of he sporadic shooting of rockets or mortar shells – mostly to open areas inside Israel).

This model was proven effective more than once in the past. For example, in October 2012, the senior military commander of Majlis Shurah Al-mujaheedin – Aknaf Beit Almakdas Hisham Al-Saidani AKA Abu Al-Walid Al-Makdasi and his assistant were killed in an Israeli air strike. That event did not spark a massive violent round.

It is likely to evaluate that the picture will not be different this time.

That being said, one reservation must be made; PIJ is massively supported by the Iranian regime, which encourages constant instability in the region. Igniting the Gaza Strip could also serve the Iranian regime as it could divert international attention from the war in Syria, in which the Iranians are deeply involved. Thus, it is possible that the Iranian regime will put pressure on PIJ to generate a violent round. Nevertheless, the probability of such scenario is not very high at this point.

************ End of Bulletin *********

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