The arrest was part of a campaign to detain members of extremist Salafi movements operating in Gaza, according to a source belonging to one of the groups targeted in the crackdown.
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The campaign was ordered by Egyptian authorities in the aftermath of a terror attack that claimed the lives of 16 Egyptian border troops on August 5.
Site of June border attack (Photo: Reuters)
The terrorist, Abu Suhaib Rashwan, is a senior operative belonging to al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, a group affiliated with the global jihad movement.
The Israeli defense establishment believes Rashwan was in charge of mobilizing weapons and arming terror operatives with bombs. He is also suspected of firing rockets and mortar shells on Israel and smuggling militants to and from Gaza.
A short while after the June attack, Rashwan and his associate, Raleb Armilat, became the target of an IAF strike while riding a motorcycle in Rafah. Armilat was killed and Rashwan sustained serious injuries. He was arrested and questioned by Hamas immediately upon being released from the hospital earlier this week, the Salafi source said. He added that Rashwan's skull was fractured in the strike, and that he has yet to recover completely.
According to the source, Egyptian officers have travelled to Gaza to take part the interrogation of Rashwan and the other detainees.
The source denied claims that al-Tawhid wal-Jihad had any involvement in the border attack that took place earlier this month.
Another Palestinian official said that Egypt has began looking into Rashwan and the other detainees immediately after the terror attack.
Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar confirmed that Egypt has requested Hamas to bring in two suspects for questioning, and that one of them is currently in custody in Gaza. He did not give names.
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