TEL AVIV — Sixteen jihadists from the Gaza Strip have been killed in recent days in Syria, where they were fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State, senior jihadist Abu Abdel Rahman al-Maqdesi told Breitbart Jerusalem.
According to al-Maqdesi, all of the 16 were killed in the Dir ez-Zor Governorate, most of them in American and Russian airstrikes. Three of the 16 were killed fighting Kurdish militias in the region.
Nine of the jihadists were said to have come from the city of Rafah in southern Gaza while others came from Khan Younis, also in the south, and other areas of the Gaza Strip.
Al-Maqdesi said the most prominent Palestinian jihadist to be killed was Rassem Abu Jazar, a former official with the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ so-called military wing. Abu Jazar left Hamas, joined the jihadists in Gaza, and in 2013 managed to cross into Sinai and make his way to Syria and Iraq, where he fought in the ranks of IS.
Abu Jazar left the Gaza Strip with his family before arriving in Syria. He was one of the first Palestinian jihadists to join the ranks of IS and among the first Hamas officials to do so.
Abu Jazar moved up the ranks of IS and became one of the organization’s most senior members in the region of Aleppo. According to al-Maqdesi, Abu Jazar’s family and the families of the other jihadists killed recently were informed of their loved ones’ deaths partly through Palestinian jihadists who continue to fight with IS in Syria.
Another prominent figure killed recently was Abdullah Kulab from Rafah, the jihadist said. Kulab was a brother of Mustafa Kulab, who blew himself up last August along with a Hamas patrol that tried to prevent him and another jihadist from crossing into Sinai. A Hamas police officer was killed in the blast.
Those killed also included Imad al-Nahass, Muhamad Abu Shbeika and Muhamad Abdelal. Abu Shbeika and al-Nahass spent some time as operatives for Hamas’ “military wing” before leaving the group and joining IS in Syria and Iraq.