TEL AVIV – Following in the footsteps of the Islamic State, another Gaza-based Salafi organization has launched a campaign against Hamas, accusing it of espousing an “anti-Islamic” doctrine.
In a newly released video, the Army of Islam says that Hamas “betrays Islam, practices heresy, and shuns Sharia law in favor of a violent imposition of the laws of the infidels.” Watch the video below:
The video by “the Army of Islam media council” is dedicated to the “Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” the leader of IS.
In the video, a militant is shown lashing out at Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ former prime minister, with a slideshow of pictures that show him meeting with Arab and Muslim leaders “who have betrayed Islam and the Muslim people.”
Mahmoud al-Zahar, another top Hamas leader, is shown meeting with Iranian officials whom the video slideshow accuses of waging “a war against Sunni Muslims. It is proof that Hamas exchanges military information and intelligence with Iran, which serves its campaign against the Sunnis.”
Also, Hamas’ deputy chief of diplomacy, Mousa abu Marzook, is seen visiting a church in Gaza – “proof of Hamas’ loyalty and sympathy to the Christians.”
In conclusion, claims the Army of Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and its subdivision Hamas have “strayed from the route of Sharia and Islam.”
The pictures, says the narrator, are “proof that Hamas is a bunch of heretics who should be wholly condemned.”
However, in a hint that the organization will not breach the de facto ceasefire with Israel, the speaker claims that they seek to avoid “secondary battles and not fight against them. But we declare that as heretics we do not recognize their authority and rules.”
The video refers to the 2007 raid on a Salafi headquarters where the then-BBC correspondent in Gaza, Alan Johnston, was held captive. Hamas forces killed 13 of the captors – “Sharia warriors,” as the video calls them – in an incident described as “the Ramadan massacre,” which liberated “a British intelligence officer.”
The group claims responsibility for the killing of Palestinian Military Intelligence Commander Mousa Arafat in 2005, as well as another intelligence officer, Jad Tayeh, both described as “the enemies of Islam.”
Salafi organizations in Gaza and the ruling faction Hamas have been increasingly at odds.
In May, Hamas engaged in deadly clashes with IS supporters who challenged Hamas rule.
In July, the Information Bureau of the Aleppo Province, affiliated with IS, released a video entitled “A message to our folks in Jerusalem,” in which IS members originally from Gaza declared war on Israel and Hamas.
In the video, IS member Abu Azzam Al-Ghazzawim, who is originally from Gaza, delivered a strongly-worded warning to what he called the “tyrants of Hamas”:
“You are nothing in our reckoning. You, Fatah, and all the secularists, we count you as nothing. Allah willing, we shall uproot the state of the Jews. You are nothing but froth that will be gone as we move in. Allah willing, Gaza will be governed by Shariah despite you.”
Abu Qatadah al-Filistini, an ISIS member who leads a faction in Aleppo, Syria made an appearance in the video and called on all “monotheists in Gaza to join the convoy of the Mujahidin and to join the State of the Caliphate.”
Abu Qatadah accused Hamas of “sliding gradually into apostasy, a slide that started with the demolition of the Ibn Taymiyah Mosque.”
“It is a movement that does not seek to govern according to Shariah but seeks to appease Iran and America, the heads of apostasy.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.