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Hamas tightens security measures after suicide bombing in southern Gaza
Last Updated: 2017-08-18 09:06 | Xinhua
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Islamic Hamas movement tightened on Thursday its security measures on the Gaza Strip-Egypt border following an earlier suicide bombing carried out by an Islamic State (IS) militant.

It is the first-of-its-kind suicide bombing attack carried out by extremists in the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave, which has been ruled by Hamas since 2007.

Dozens of Hamas security officers were deployed in various areas of Rafah town in southern Gaza Strip, especially at the entrances to the border with Egypt, amid several military checkpoints for inspection.

This came after a suicide bomber blew himself up with a number of internal Hamas members near the border with Egypt, killing one, and wounding seven members of the Interior.

"A security incident occurred in the southern border area of the Gaza Strip east of Rafah crossing after a security force stopped two people as they approached the border with Egypt," Interior Ministry spokesman Eyad al-Bozzom said.

Medical sources told Xinhua that Nidal Jaafari, 28, a member of the Internal Control Force of the Interior Ministry, died of his serious injuries in the bombing after one of the people blew himself up near the border.

Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in a press statement that Jaafari is a field commander in addition to his work in the Interior Ministry.

Al-Qassam Brigades stressed that they "will not hesitate to defend the Palestinian people and land and to protect the resistance project from all threats, and to counter the deviant thought of the intruder original jihadist resistance."

Hamas internal security announced last June, the establishment of a buffer zone on the border security between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, a depth of 100 meters on the Palestinian side in order to enhance the "security" situation.

The move came after understandings reached by a delegation of Hamas leaders with Egyptian officials in Cairo to impose further control over the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and to prevent escape through it.

Nafez Azzam, Islamic Jihad movement member said that Rafah incident, "a serious development requires concerted efforts to solve this problem because the security treatment only is not enough."

"What happened in Rafah is a strange incident on the Palestinian scene and cannot be accepted because it is against our customs and religion of the Palestinian people," Azzam told Quds voice local Radio.

He added that confronting such incidents "requires an end to the atmosphere of fanaticism that prevails in the Palestinian arena and is rampant regardless of the form of intolerance and its goal of spreading solidarity and brotherly culture."

A statement issued by the leftist Popular Front said that "this terrible crime, which targeted members of the security in the performance of their national duty to defend the borders of the homeland is a serious incident, stresses the need to unite and eradicate terrorism and thought Takfiri roots."

The Front's statement called for "the necessity of formulating an urgent national plan in which all national, educational, economic and social sectors contribute to blocking the path of the promoters of this Takfiri thought and its sponsors."

"Legal and security treatment is important and most important is the participation of all in confronting the phenomenon of extremist ideology nationally, economically, socially and intellectually," said Mustafa Ibrahim, a political and human rights activist.

Israel has imposed a strict blockade on movement of people and goods in the Gaza Strip, home to more than two million people since the Hamas takeover in mid-2007.

In addition to the blockade, Israel launched three large-scale military operations against the Gaza Strip. The first was at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, and the second in November 2012, the latest attack was in the summer of 2014 for 50 consecutive days.

This has led to record levels of poverty and unemployment among the population of the Gaza Strip, as well as a severe shortage of basic services, particularly energy and clean water.

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