Report: ISIS in Sinai choking Gaza-based Hamas

ISIS terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula are reportedly fighting and weakening Hamas, the Islamic terror group that rules the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula has previously cooperated with Gaza’s Hamas terror organization in generating attacks in the area, but now the two groups are feuding, with ISIS shutting down the smuggling tunnels running from Sinai into Gaza, cutting of Hamas’ lifeline.

Asharq al-Awsat reported on Monday that ISIS in Sinai, for the past several weeks, has been prohibiting traders from Rafah from bringing commodities into the Gaza Strip ever since Hamas had stopped its coordination with ISIS and arrested hundreds of its supporters.

Palestinian sources told the news outlet that ISIS is also confiscating weapons and ammunition as well as raw materials that were en route to Hamas, which are generally used for manufacturing rockets and bombs.

Hamas had launched a campaign against ISIS supporters in the Strip in an attempt to improve its relations with Egypt and prohibits any movement of ISIS members between Gaza and Sinai. Furthermore, ISIS supporters in Gaza have attempted to undermine Hamas’ rule in Gaza, and Hamas is working to stamp out ISIS’ resistance.

The cut-off of the tunnels running into Gaza by ISIS is causing Hamas to experience a financial crisis, as markets underwent a shortage of commodities and traders in the Gaza Strip began complaining.

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Asharq al-Awsat quoted “reliable” Hamas sources who said that Hamas’ budget for its armed Al Qassam Brigades has dropped. Hamas amasses revenues from taxation of smuggled goods coming through the tunnels. The cut-off by ISIS has apparently caused them significant loss.

Hamas is reportedly hesitant and is considering several options on how to deal with the crisis and how to face its impact on military work and financial resources.

In an apparent escalation, ISIS in Sinai published pictures of Hamas terrorists from Gaza whom they executed.

Hamas is now struggling between its relations with Egypt and the pressures exerted by ISIS.

By: World Israel News Staff