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Mujahideen Shura Council competes with Hamas for power in Gaza: Analysts

Mujahideen Shura Council competes with Hamas for power in Gaza: Analysts, According to a report from Israeli terrorism think-tank Meir Amit Information Center released on Tuesday, the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, a jihadist organization operating in the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for two Grad rocket attacks on Eilat, Israel's southernmost city.

The report also claims that the Mujahideen Shura Council was behind the missile and mortar attacks in recent weeks targeting Israel from the once exclusively Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The Council claimed responsibility for several such attacks. Senior Salafist operatives in the Gaza Strip made it clear that they were not bound by the cease-fire agreement achieved between the Israelis and Palestinians from Hamas.

While Hamas wants to preserve the lull in violence, it hasn't been completely successful in enforcing its policies on the so-called rogue terrorist networks, especially those affiliated the global jihad, according to the report.

The rocket fire attacking Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula and the continuing terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip, accompanied by defiant public statements, present security and ideological challenges for Hamas. In Meir Amit's assessment, the challenges are heightened by the accusations made against Hamas in the Egyptian media. Egyptian reporters claimed that Hamas operatives collaborated with terrorist organizations seeking to harm Egypt and undermine its national security.

"In our assessment, the rockets targeting Eilat were fired with the support of jihadist networks operating in the Sinai Peninsula, allies of the Mujahideen Shura Council which share a common jihadist ideology," said the Meir Amit intelligence analysts in their report.

The Meir Amit report goes on to state:

"It again shows that the Sinai Peninsula has been turned into a convenient venue for terrorist organizations affiliated the global jihad, both those originating in the Gaza Strip and those indigenous to the Sinai Peninsula.

"They exploit the anarchy and lack of governance by the Egyptian regime (which is troubled by more pressing internal problems), and the existence of logistic support enabling them to receive weapons from Sudan, Libya and the Gaza Strip. The jihadist networks are based on the local Bedouin population (especially in the northern Sinai Peninsula), whose motives are both financial-commercial and political-ideological (hostility towards the Egyptian authorities and the spread of radical Islam)."

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