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Islamic Jihad takes drug enforcement into own hands in Gaza

The Islamic Jihad's military wing seized large quantities of Tramadol pills in Rafah, in a move Gaza officials considered as overstepping the security services' job.
A Palestinian militant stands guard during an anti-Israeli rally organized by Islamic Jihad movement in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip October 24, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX14MO0
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — On May 2, the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, Al-Quds Brigades, released a video claiming to show that it had raided a number of drug stashes and seized large quantities of the narcotic Tramadol in Rafah, in southern Gaza. Tramadol is an opioid painkiller that has become popular in Gaza over the past nine years and has been smuggled through tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border.

The video shows a group of men in civilian clothes, their faces blurred, digging up packets of Tramadol. Al-Quds Brigades claim on their website, Military Media, that they seized 175,000 tablets of the drug. An unnamed official from the brigades’ security division in southern Gaza told Military Media on May 3 that the Tramadol raid was “within the framework of the fight against a deviant class of drug dealers, with dead consciences, trying to push our youth into the unknown.”

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