A nervous Hamas takes on rising threat from Gaza extremists



GAZA CITY // Still recovering from a devastating war with Israel last summer, Gaza’s Hamas rulers now find themselves confronting a new internal threat: extremists who support the ISIL group and appear intent on provoking Israel to pressure and embarrass Hamas.

While these Salafi groups are not strong enough to threaten Hamas, they are making life increasingly difficult for the ruling militant group.

Hamas accuses them of being behind a series of mysterious explosions aimed at Hamas security posts, as well as recent rocket launches that have drawn Israeli reprisals and threats of tougher military action.

A Hamas crackdown on the Salafists killed a wanted fugitive during a raid last week, appearing to erase any hopes of reconciliation in the near term.

The fugitive, Younis Al Hunnor, had been wanted for months, and his death has prompted angry calls for revenge.

“Hamas are infidels,” says a spray-painted message written on the stairway of Al Hunnor’s apartment building in southern Gaza. “No condolences before revenge,” said another message.

On a recent day, blood stains were still visible outside the apartment, and Al Hunnor’s mother, Basma, pointed to several bullets holes at the entrance.

“They killed him here. They executed him,” she said.

She said her son supported the ISIL ideology but had never acted against Hamas.

“Even if he pays allegiance to the ISIL, what gives them the right to execute him?” she said.

Salafists include a number of ultraconservative extremist groups that seek to turn Gaza into an Islamic ‘caliphate’. These groups have accused Hamas of being too soft on Israel and of failing to adequately impose religious law.

Hamas has generally tolerated the Salafists since they emerged in Gaza a decade ago, though there have been occasional confrontations.

In 2009, Hamas killed a Salafi leader who declared an Islamic emirate in the southern town of Rafah. Since then Hamas has worked quietly to dismantle the groups. “Now, they are scattered groups, sometimes made up of 10 people who have an ideological problem with Hamas,” said Adnan Abu Amer, an analyst from Gaza.But in recent months, Gaza’s Salafists have been emboldened by the rise of ISIL.

At the same time, Hamas has been weakened by last year’s war while a stifling blockade of Gaza’s borders by Israel and Egypt remains in place.

Analysts believe there are about 1,000 Salafi loyalists – too few to pose a threat to Hamas but enough to cause persistent problems.

While the attacks have caused no casualties, they have strained a 10-month-old ceasefire.

Wary of the rising threat, Hamas has launched a crackdown on the most radical groups.

Mushir Al Masri, a local Hamas official, said such steps are a last resort. “We are not interested in the existence of tension.”

But after the crackdown, particularly last week’s killing of Al Hunnor, tensions are running high.

Abu Mohammed, a Salafi activist, said the Salafists “love, support and defend ISIL” and anyone who opposes the group is “intentionally or unintentionally taking part in the war against Islam”.

Another Salafi, identifying himself only as Abu Ahmed, said Salafists receive no weapons or money from abroad, unlike Hamas which has help from Iran and other regional allies.

He said the group has no interest in battling Hamas: “Our problem with Hamas is that it wants to dominate, it wants to control, it wants to let everybody work according to its own interest.”

* Associated Press

Nepotism is the name of the game

Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan, is one of Bollywood’s most legendary screenwriters. Through his partnership with co-writer Javed Akhtar, Salim is credited with having paved the path for the Indian film industry’s blockbuster format in the 1970s. Something his son now rules the roost of. More importantly, the Salim-Javed duo also created the persona of the “angry young man” for Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s, reflecting the angst of the average Indian. In choosing to be the ordinary man’s “hero” as opposed to a thespian in new Bollywood, Salman Khan remains tightly linked to his father’s oeuvre. Thanks dad. 

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

'Lost in Space'

Creators: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Irwin Allen

Stars: Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins

Rating: 4/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Kinetic 7
Started: 2018
Founder: Rick Parish
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Industry: Clean cooking
Funding: $10 million
Investors: Self-funded

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Ejari
Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Founders: Yazeed Al Shamsi, Fahad Albedah, Mohammed Alkhelewy and Khalid Almunif
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $1 million
Investors: Sanabil 500 Mena, Hambro Perks' Oryx Fund and angel investors
Number of employees: 8

Armies of Sand

By Kenneth Pollack (Oxford University Press)
 

Scoreline

Ireland 16 (Tries: Stockdale Cons: Sexton Pens: Sexton 3)

New Zealand 9 (Pens: Barrett 2 Drop Goal: Barrett)

Match info

UAE v Bolivia, Friday, 6.25pm, Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium, Dubai

2019 ASIAN CUP FINAL

Japan v Qatar
Friday, 6pm
Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi

FIGHT CARD

 

1.           Featherweight 66kg

Ben Lucas (AUS) v Ibrahim Kendil (EGY)

2.           Lightweight 70kg

Mohammed Kareem Aljnan (SYR) v Alphonse Besala (CMR)

3.           Welterweight 77kg

Marcos Costa (BRA) v Abdelhakim Wahid (MAR)

4.           Lightweight 70kg

Omar Ramadan (EGY) v Abdimitalipov Atabek (KGZ)

5.           Featherweight 66kg

Ahmed Al Darmaki (UAE) v Kagimu Kigga (UGA)

6.           Catchweight 85kg

Ibrahim El Sawi (EGY) v Iuri Fraga (BRA)

7.           Featherweight 66kg

Yousef Al Husani (UAE) v Mohamed Allam (EGY)

8.           Catchweight 73kg

Mostafa Radi (PAL) v Abdipatta Abdizhali (KGZ)

9.           Featherweight 66kg

Jaures Dea (CMR) v Andre Pinheiro (BRA)

10.         Catchweight 90kg

Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Juscelino Ferreira (BRA)

NBA Finals results

Game 1: Warriors 124, Cavaliers 114
Game 2: Warriors 122, Cavaliers 103
Game 3: Cavaliers 102, Warriors 110
Game 4: In Cleveland, Sunday (Monday morning UAE)

List of officials:

Referees: Chris Broad, David Boon, Jeff Crowe, Andy Pycroft, Ranjan Madugalle and Richie Richardson.

Umpires: Aleem Dar, Kumara Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Sundaram Ravi, Paul Reiffel, Rod Tucker, Michael Gough, Joel Wilson and Paul Wilson.

Jawan

Director: Atlee

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi

Rating: 4/5

Sugary teas and iced coffees

The tax authority is yet to release a list of the taxed products, but it appears likely that sugary iced teas and cold coffees will be hit.

For instance, the non-fizzy drink AriZona Iced Tea contains 65 grams of sugar – about 16 teaspoons – per 680ml can. The average can costs about Dh6, which would rise to Dh9.

Cold coffee brands are likely to be hit too. Drinks such as Starbucks Bottled Mocha Frappuccino contain 31g of sugar in 270ml, while Nescafe Mocha in a can contains 15.6g of sugar in a 240ml can.

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

Brief scores:

Southampton 2

Armstrong 13', Soares 20'

Manchester United 2

Lukaku 33', Herrera 39'

Your rights as an employee

The government has taken an increasingly tough line against companies that fail to pay employees on time. Three years ago, the Cabinet passed a decree allowing the government to halt the granting of work permits to companies with wage backlogs.

The new measures passed by the Cabinet in 2016 were an update to the Wage Protection System, which is in place to track whether a company pays its employees on time or not.

If wages are 10 days late, the new measures kick in and the company is alerted it is in breach of labour rules. If wages remain unpaid for a total of 16 days, the authorities can cancel work permits, effectively shutting off operations. Fines of up to Dh5,000 per unpaid employee follow after 60 days.

Despite those measures, late payments remain an issue, particularly in the construction sector. Smaller contractors, such as electrical, plumbing and fit-out businesses, often blame the bigger companies that hire them for wages being late.

The authorities have urged employees to report their companies at the labour ministry or Tawafuq service centres — there are 15 in Abu Dhabi.

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Name: Brendalle Belaza

From: Crossing Rubber, Philippines

Arrived in the UAE: 2007

Favourite place in Abu Dhabi: NYUAD campus

Favourite photography style: Street photography

Favourite book: Harry Potter

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

TOUR RESULTS AND FIXTURES

June 3: NZ Provincial Barbarians 7 Lions 13
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June 10: Crusaders 3 Lions 12
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June 20: Chiefs 6 Lions 34
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Mental health support in the UAE

● Estijaba helpline: 8001717
● UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention hotline: 045192519
● UAE Mental health support line: 800 4673 (Hope)
More information at hope.hw.gov.ae

 

 

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Recipe

Garlicky shrimp in olive oil
Gambas Al Ajillo

Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

180ml extra virgin olive oil; 4 to 5 large cloves of garlic, minced or pureed (or 3 to 4 garlic scapes, roughly chopped); 1 or 2 small hot red chillies, dried (or ¼ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes); 400g raw prawns, deveined, heads removed and tails left intact; a generous splash of sweet chilli vinegar; sea salt flakes for seasoning; a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a terracotta dish or frying pan. Once the oil is sizzling hot, add the garlic and chilli, stirring continuously for about 10 seconds until golden and aromatic.

Add a splash of sweet chilli vinegar and as it vigorously simmers, releasing perfumed aromas, add the prawns and cook, stirring a few times.

Once the prawns turn pink, after 1 or 2 minutes of cooking, remove from the heat and season with sea salt flakes.

Once the prawns are cool enough to eat, scatter with parsley and serve with small forks or toothpicks as the perfect sharing starter. Finish off with crusty bread to soak up all that flavour-infused olive oil.