Three Hamas police killed in Gaza militant attack

Three Hamas police killed in Gaza militant attack
2 min read
28 August, 2019
Hamas said three people have been killed in a militant attack by a fringe pro-Islamic State group.
Hamas police were killed in an attack [Getty]

Palestinian group Hamas said Wednesday that two overnight bomb attacks killed three police officers in the besieged Gaza Strip as the enclave was placed under a state of alert.

Witnesses told AFP that both bombings were suicide attacks by assailants on motorbikes, but there was no official confirmation. 

A source familiar with the investigation said a Salafist movement in Gaza that sympathises with Islamic State group was suspected.

Hamas's interior ministry confirmed the three deaths, but spoke only of two "bombings" in Gaza City without providing details.

It had earlier said two officers died in "two explosions targeting police checkpoints" late Tuesday night, before revising the toll to three. 

Suicide bombings are rare in the Gaza Strip.

This comes a week after a pro-Islamic State militant group threatened Hamas and accused them of digressing from Islam.

Fringe militant group Jaish al-Islam released a 28 minute video on messaging platform Telegram, accusing Islamist movement Hamas of being apostates.

The group accused Hamas of "selling out" Islam by being too "Western" and deviating from the religion, according to the footage found and shared by a number of pro-Israeli media outlets.

In August 2017, a suicide bomber killed a Hamas guard in southern Gaza on the border with Egypt.

Hamas has run the Gaza Strip since 2007 but has been regularly criticised by more radical Salafist groups in the impoverished, Israeli-blockaded coastal territory.