Palestine: Hamas Arrests Sderot Rocket Launchers

Iron Dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel near the southern city of SderotRamallah- Asharq Al-Awsat Hamas arrested members responsible for the rocket fired on Thursday that struck a building in Sderot, Palestinian sources told i24NEWS Sunday.

The detainees were said to be residents of Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip and members of the Fatah-affiliated al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.

Both Hamas’ internal security agency and Hamas’ al-Qassam military wing are investigating the possibility that the order for the launch came from outside of Gaza.

Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is a small armed group that has members from Gaza and is financed by Hamas.

The arrest came hours after Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh told UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov that Hamas was investigating the rocket fire.

Haniyeh asserted to Mladenov that Hamas was committed to the understandings reached as part of the ceasefire with Israel, stressing that the movement wanted the ceasefire to remain in place.

The arrest of the rocket launchers is intended to send a message that the movement actually wants the situation to remain stable despite recent tensions. Israel responded to the missiles with raids on Gaza.

Tension in the Strip has risen with Hamas accusing Israel of delaying the implementation of the ceasefire, followed by the incendiary balloons launched from Gaza which Israel responded by imposing a naval embargo on Gaza.

Hamas said that demonstrations would see escalations if Israel continued to stall the implementation of the understandings brokered between both parties and sponsored by Egypt, UN, and Qatar. 

Israeli media said Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi was informed by the Israeli government he should not arrive in Gaza for the transfer of money. However, Mladenov promised Haniyeh that the Qatari envoy would enter the Gaza Strip with a monthly cash delivery, and conveyed that Israel was interested in maintaining calm in the south. 

Israel’s Channel 13 said the Qatari mission would arrive in Gaza with a new shipment of cash. 

The total amount of the grant is expected to reach $25 million, of which $10 million will be transferred to Israel to purchase fuel to the power plant in Gaza City, according to Yedioth Ahrenot.

The remaining $10 million will be distributed to needy families, with each family receiving $100. In addition, $5 million will be donated in cash to the United Nations’ cash-for-work projects, where Gazans are temporarily employed and paid.

This week, an Egyptian security delegation is supposed to arrive in order to contain any possible escalation. Cairo had drawn up an agreement last month for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

The agreement includes expanding the fishing zone to 12 miles, improving electricity networks and supplies, facilitating export and import operations, and resuming transfers of funds to the Strip.

According to the agreement, if this stage is successful, another stage will be discussed to include a prisoner exchange deal and infrastructure projects.  (Source / 17.06.2019) 

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