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Monday, December 20, 2010

Gaza Salafi leader calls for halt to rockets

In general, the Safali Islamic groups in Gaza are considered more hard-line than the de facto Hamas government. But Sheikh Yassin Al-Astal, head of the Salafi Council in Palestine, has just issued a statement for Gazans to stop shooting rockets to Israel, a phenomenon that has been accelerating in recent months.

According to al-Astal, the purpose of jihad is to prevent, deter, or repel aggression, but Palestinian Arab rocket attacks do the opposite: they cause Israel to react with its own attacks. Jihad is not for the purpose of wantonly destroying the enemy's property or lives for no reason.

Al-Astal said that he fears that the violence that is started by Gaza rockets could in fact be a sin, and that people who launch rockets actually get punished by Allah rather than rewarded.

The Salafis are only a small percentage of the Gaza population, but this is a very interesting development.