The Hamas-ISIS War

News Image By Bassam Tawil/Gatestone Institute February 15, 2018
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What do Muslim terrorists do when they are not killing "infidels" and non-Muslims? It is simple: They start killing each other.

Take, for example, the Islamic terror groups Hamas and Islamic State (ISIS). Although the two groups share the same ideology and seek to kill anyone who obstructs their effort to spread their version of Islam to the rest of the world, it now seems that the throats they are looking to slit are each other's.

The quarrel between Hamas and ISIS is not a spat between good guys and bad guys. Rather, it is a dispute between two bloodthirsty, vicious and ruthless Islamic terror groups that have the blood of countless non-Muslims on their hands.

Until recently, Hamas and ISIS were said to be working together, especially in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula. Hamas has been providing fighters to ISIS in return for weapons smuggled into the Gaza Strip. The cooperation between the two groups enabled ISIS to carry out a series of terror attacks against the Egyptian army and civilians in Sinai.

The past few months, however, have seen a rapid deterioration in relations between Hamas and ISIS, particularly in light of Hamas's effort to mend fences with the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi. The new rapprochement between Hamas and Egypt has apparently enraged ISIS, prompting it to declare war on its Palestinian sister group, Hamas.

Hamas, for its part, has also been wary of ISIS's attempts to infiltrate the Gaza Strip and undermine the regime Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement there.

Hamas brooks no competition. Instead, the group zealously maintains its death grip on the two million Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip. Hamas already has Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction trying to rein it in, so the last thing it needs is for a rival Islamic group to challenge its rule in Gaza.

But now it is official: Hamas and ISIS are at war with each other. This dispute, of course, should be seen as good news. There is nothing more comforting than watching two radical Islamic groups rip each other to bits. All one can do now is wish both groups total success!

The war between the two terror groups reached its peak this week, with revelations that ISIS had plotted to assassinate Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

According to an Egyptian intelligence report, Hamas recently arrested 18 ISIS suspects who planned to carry out the assassination in the Gaza Strip. The ISIS cell evidently was planning to place explosives in the "White Mosque" in the Gaza Strip, where Haniyeh prays, the reports said. The plot, they added, was uncovered thanks to cooperation between Hamas and the Egyptian authorities.

Earlier, Hamas had announced that its security forces arrested two ISIS terrorists who infiltrated the Gaza Strip from Sinai. According to Hamas, the two terrorists confessed during interrogation that one of the goals of ISIS in Sinai was to prevent humanitarian aid from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

The arrests came shortly after ISIS released a video featuring the execution of two Hamas members in Sinai. One of the men was identified as Musa Abu Zmat, a senior commander of the military wing of Hamas, Ezaddin Al-Qassam. Abu Zmat was found guilty of smuggling weapons from Sinai to the Gaza Strip. He was killed with a single shot to the head.

ISIS later released another video in which it accused Hamas of "betraying" the Palestinians by arresting Muslim extremists in the Gaza Strip. ISIS also charged Hamas of failing to thwart U.S. President Donald Trump's recent announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and of receiving financial aid from Iran. In the video, ISIS also called for attacking Hamas figures and installations, as well as Christians in the Gaza Strip.

The two Hamas men who were executed had fled the Gaza Strip to join ISIS, Palestinian sources said. Mukhaimar Abu Sa'ed, a lecturer with the Al-Azhar University in the Gaza Strip, said that several Hamas members had defected because they felt that their group was "too lenient" and did not impose Islamic sharia law in the Gaza Strip.

In yet another sign of mounting tensions between the two terror groups, earlier this month, ISIS executed two more Palestinians on charges of "collaboration" with Hamas. The two, Ramez Abdullah and Bashar Said, had lived in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk near Damascus and were executed in Syria.

Hamas, according to some reports, has rounded up more than 500 ISIS followers in the Gaza Strip in the past few months as part of a massive crackdown on the group. Hamas also seems to be taking the recent ISIS threats against its leaders seriously. 

Sources close to Hamas revealed that dozens of ISIS terrorists have managed to infiltrate the Gaza Strip in the past few months to prepare for a wave of attacks against Hamas targets.

The Hamas-ISIS war comes at a time when the Gaza Strip is experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis, including shortages of fuel and medicine, that has forced a number of hospitals and medical centers to suspend their services. The suffering of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, however, is apparently of no concern to Hamas.

Hamas is too busy holding on to power at any cost to expend any effort on helping the residents of Gaza. Hamas is prepared to fight to the last Palestinian to remain in power. The Palestinian Authority, for its part, also does not seem to care much about the plight of its constituents in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the recent "reconciliation" agreement between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah, the Palestinian president has doggedly refused to lift the sanctions he imposed on the Gaza Strip last year, thereby further aggravating the humanitarian crisis there.

Abbas's ultimate goal is to bring about the collapse of the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. He, too, is prepared to sacrifice as many Palestinians as needed to achieve his goal.

Instead of attending to the needs of his people, Abbas is also busy picking a fight with the US administration and its "Zionist" representatives, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt.

Hamas has its hands full trying to prevent both ISIS and Fatah from taking over the Gaza Strip, while Palestinians are deprived of medical treatment, jobs and food. The fight with ISIS is giving Hamas a taste of its own medicine – blood and death.

Once again, the Palestinians have fallen victim to their leaders, who are seemingly preoccupied with one thing alone: pumping millions of dollars of public donations into their own private coffers.

Originally published at Gatestone Institute - reposted with permission.

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