A journalist for an official Hamas paper has made a startling accusation: Israel sent the Islamic State (ISIS) to Gaza to undermine Hamas. The accusation was voiced in the paper Palestine.
Last Friday, Hamas finally acknowledged that ISIS was operating in Gaza, after long denying its presence. In response, journalist Faiz Abu Shamala posed a series of accusatory questions to the terrorist group, known in Arabic and Hebrew as Daesh.
“Why doesn’t Daesh attack international naval ships on the Red Sea and the Israeli tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh? Why does Daesh attack the Palestinian fighters and not the collaborators with Israel?”
“Why doesn’t Daesh start a war front against Israel from the West Bank which could more greatly affect Israel than from the Gaza Strip? Why does Daesh spread a poster calling for Christians to leave Jerusalem but doesn’t publish a similar poster against the Zionists? Why doesn’t Daesh act against Israel from the Jordan border and (why) doesn’t it attack the Jordanian regime even as the Jordanian air force strikes Daesh targets?” he asked.
The answer, Shamala proposed, is that ISIS is a pawn of Israel, sent to undermine Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip since Israel was not able to overthrow Hamas directly.
ISIS and its supporters view Hamas as being too “moderate”, a sentiment expressed last week in a threatening video produced by the group and aimed at Hamas, Fatah and “the Jewish state”. Somewhere between several hundred and a few thousand Gazans actively support ISIS.
The ISIS cell in Gaza has worked together with that in the Sinai Peninsula, which just last Friday fired rockets into Israel. The same groups have also coordinated attacks on Hamas targets, including claims of launching two bombs in Gaza in May.