Hamas has offered Waliyat Sinai, the Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate, to release some senior jihadi militants it has detained in exchange for facilitating the passage of Gaza-bound weapons shipments it has held up, according to a top Hamas source.
Hamas is looking into the possibility of releasing two Waliyat Sinai commanders who infiltrated into Gaza in a bid to recruit Palestinian jihadists for their struggle against the Egyptian army, the source told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The pair were arrested during a Hamas raid on a Khan Younis apartment in December, alongside other jihadists. The Hamas source said that the two jihadists are Egyptian nationals who served as Waliyat Sinai’s liaison officers for the so-called Palestinian issue.
The source said that Ayman Nufal, a senior operative with Hamas’ military wing who maintains good relations with IS in Sinai, was tasked with delivering the message that Hamas would release the two militants in exchange for a weapons shipment that has been held by Waliyat Sinai for more than two months.
Waliyat Sinai has yet to formally respond to Hamas’ offer, which represents Hamas’s effort to walk the fine line between its dependency on Waliyat Sinai and its wish to sidle up to Cairo in order to alleviate the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Last week, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Hamas feared Waliyat Sinai would make use of its weapons stockpile, whether against the Egyptian army or to target Israel. Hamas responded by beefing up the deployment of its forces along the Egyptian border and sending a missive to Cairo saying categorically that they had nothing to do with last week’s rocket fire on the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat.