Islamic State (ISIS) supporters have claimed responsibility for the Grad rocket attack north of Be’er Sheva last week and have issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Hamas to halt its crackdown against them.
The Islamic Jihad originally said it was behind the missile attack, the first beyond the Gaza Belt area since the war against Hamas last summer.
It is not known if the ISIS cells in Gaza are directly linked to the parent organization, but the fact that they have claimed responsibility for the rocket attack indicates they are active are staging a propaganda campaign to attract more recruits.
They have not said what they will do if Hamas does not “withdraw the attacks” against them” in two days, but Hamas clearly is worried.
It has set up checkpoints within Gaza City the past month following several explosions that have been attributed to ISIS cells.
Jihadists blame Hamas for being “soft” on Israel and for not imposing Islamic law on Gaza.
Hamas finally has found an enemy it fears. The terrorist organization always has been able to draw Israel into wars and then escape with its life. No matter how much damage Israel causes to its infrastructure, Hamas always springs back to life.
Its corruption has kept civilians at their mercy, creating exactly the conditions that make an organization like ISIS even more appealing than Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups that simply are a re-make of Hamas.
The Islamic State is different. It operates out of fear, and anyone who does not have the will to fight back becomes its slave. Whoever does fight back has to be willing to be beheaded.
There is nothing more that ISIS would like than to behead an Israeli, and an Arab probably would be preferred in order to scare other Arabs into fighting Israel.
Egypt has banished Hamas, but one Israel security official told a Births newspaper that the presence of the ISIS in Gaza may force Cairo, as well as Israel, to carry out back-door cooperation with Hamas to squash ISIS.