It had to happen sometime.
ISIS (Da’esh in Arabic) – not satisfied with the way Hamas terrorists have governed the Gaza region – has decided to seize control of the enclave itself.
And the terrorist organization says it does not plan to stop there, either — the group apparently issued a video statement Tuesday warning of its intent to conquer the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority as well, according to the Reuters news agency.
The video has been removed from the Internet, however.
“We will uproot the state of the Jews and you and Fatah, and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be overrun by our creeping multitudes,” a masked member of the terror group proclaimed in a message addressed to the “tyrants of Hamas,” according to Reuters.
“The rule of Shari’a (Islamic Law) will be implemented in Gaza in spite of you,” he went on. “We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp (the Palestinian settlement in Damascus), will happen in Gaza.”
All of the above was quoted from the video released by ISIS in Syria this week. But it won’t be seen by the general public, since the video effectively no longer exists.
What is clear, however, is the growing power struggle taking place between Sunni Muslim Hamas — spawned by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood based in Egypt — and the more extreme Salafi Muslims in Gaza. Since ISIS entered the enclave, that struggle has become increasingly complex. The two groups tend to cooperate on terror attacks against Israel, but disagree vehemently on how tightly to draw the reins of religious stringency around the necks of their people.
On Tuesday, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz accused Hamas of working together with members of an ISIS terror group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, based in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. The group, once affiliated with Al Qaeda, last year switched its allegiance to ISIS instead.
Hamas may have no choice if it wants to survive: In February 2014, the Mujahedeen Shura council in the Environs of Jerusalem issued a statement asserting their committment to “helping ISIS and bolstering its ranks.” Soon after, a video was uploaded to the Internet on social networking sites, showing Al Qaeda-linked Salafi jihadists meeting in Gaza to offer support and pledge allegiance to ISIS.
According to the Al-Monitor who interviewed someone who appeared in the footage, the video was shot in Gaza by “young men primarily driven by emotions to come to the aid of our brothers in Syria.”
“There is cooperation between [Hamas and ISIS] on weapons smuggling and terror attacks,” Katz told participants at a conference organized by the Israel Defense journal in Tel Aviv. “The Egyptians and Saudis both know this. At the same time – within Gaza – Da’esh has been defying Hamas. But the two fight a common cause against the Jews, whether they be in Israel or overseas.”
Hamas maintained a foreign outpost in Damascus until several years ago, when it was ousted from its base by President Bashar al-Assad. Currently Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal is comfortably ensconsed in new quarters in Turkey, courtesy of Muslim Brotherhood supporter President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, co-founder and leader of the country’s pro-Islamist AK Party.