The Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula has been attacking the Egyptian military and is responsible for massacres of civilians.
There has been a symbiotic relationship between ISIS and Hamas, which controls the adjoining Gaza strip. Military supplies from Iran and Hezbollah are smuggled through the Sinai into Gaza for Hamas, and Hamas is accused by the Egyptians of helping ISIS. Many of Hamas’ best fighters have defected to ISIS, as The Times of Israel reported in February 2017:
In recent years Hamas has lost dozens of members of its military wing — the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades — to IS’s Sinai Province, including a number of its fighters from the elite Nukhba unit. Many of these operatives left for Sinai with their families and relatives and now serve as the Sinai Province’s main points of contact with Hamas. These defectors include a number of Hamas’s experts on operating anti-tank missiles and assembling roadside bombs, who have provided substantial assistance to IS in its war against the Egyptian army.
This relationship was one of the factors leading Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare that ‘Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas‘.
Yet there have been tensions between the two that have burst into the open after Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. While Hamas has foamed at the mouth over the declaration, it hasn’t done anything militarily. And that has ISIS accusing Hamas of being a tool of the Israelis.
Now there is open warfare, with ISIS publicly executing a Hamas member. Haaretz reported:
A video published Wednesday by the Islamic State in Sinai showing the execution of a Hamas militant accused of transferring weapons to the organization’s military branch reveals increasing tensions between the two groups.
The Islamic State accused Hamas of abandoning the Islamic path, capitulating to tyranny, and focusing exclusively on the Gaza Strip, thus abandoning the rest of Palestine.
The Islamic State has even gone as far as calling on its supporters to act against Hamas and its people, a statement backed by the organization’s Sinai Mufti, Qazem al-Azawi.
In the Gaza Strip, reports say that the man killed was Musa Abu Zmat, a resident of the Strip. Among those who executed him was another Gaza Palestinian, Mohammad al-Dajni.
NDTV further reports:
“Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols, and sticky bombs. Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne,” said the knife wielding narrator, according to a translation distributed by the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors extremist web sites.
The video cited Hamas’ crackdown on jihadist groups in Gaza and their failure to prevent the U.S. declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as reasons for attacking the group. It begins with a video clip of President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem last month.
The confrontation between the two militant groups has been building for more than a year, as Hamas has cracked down on Islamic State supporters in Gaza, and tightened its border with the Sinai in an attempt to repair relations with Egypt.
The Times of Israel reports:
At the end of the video, the narrator declares that a man, named as Musa Abu Zamat, who was once among the ranks of Islamic State, was sentenced to death for “smuggling weapons to the apostates of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” referring to Hamas’s military wing.
The accused is then shot in the back of the head.
At one level, it’s one of those “can’t they both lose” situations.
At another level, ISIS is conducting itself with the brutality it has demonstrated in Iraq and Syria.DONATE
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