ISIS terrorists recently entered Gaza with the support of Hamas, and the organization is helping the ISIS fighters receive medical care in Gaza’s hospitals.
Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists from the Sinai Peninsula have entered Gaza through terror-tunnels to train with the Hamas terror organization, a senior IDF officer has revealed.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai spoke of the recent developments on Friday in an interview with the Saudi news site Elaph, as translated by Israel’s Haaretz.
Mordechai said operatives entered Gaza a few days ago with the support of a well-connected Hamas affiliate, and that the organization is helping the ISIS fighters to receive medical care in Gaza’s hospitals.
Such reports have surfaced in the past, and the collaboration between Hamas and Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, ISIS’ affiliate in the Sinai is a well established fact. Elaph has in recent weeks published reports of wounded men being transferred from the restive Sinai Peninsula into Gaza.
In return, ISIS is reportedly supplying Hamas with weapons.
Mordechai explained that Hamas’ field commanders were informed, and its top military and political leaders were updated on the issue.
On Saturday, Hamas denied the reports. Hamas spokesman in Gaza Sami Abu Zuhri called Mordechai’s words “incitement” against the Gaza Strip, issued in order to “justify future aggression and the continued siege of Gaza.”
However, officials in the Israeli defense establishment say that Hamas only denies connections with ISIS outwardly, but are actually collaborating with them, as well as with Iran.
According to Palestinian sources in Gaza reported by Haaretz, though Hamas is actively courting Egypt, there are some, especially in it military leadership, that view Iran and Salafist groups as their main source of funds and arms, and are reluctant to give up the ties. Nonetheless, Hamas is facing increasing pressure from the Saudi royal house to cut ties with Iran and respect Egyptian national security interests.
Egypt has been waging a bloody war against ISIS insurgents in the Sinai.
Egypt’s army has been conducting an extensive campaign to destroy smuggling tunnels running between Sinai and Gaza, as part of a broader military campaign in the northern Sinai against anti-regime Islamic terrorists who, together with Hamas, have carried out several deadly attacks against Egypt’s security forces.