The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) on Tuesday threatened to take over the Gaza Strip from one of its rival Sunni terror groups, Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory. In a video message released from Raqqa, Syria, ISIS complained that Hamas had not enforced Sharia law to a sufficient degree.
“We will uproot the state of the Jews (Israel) and you and Fatah (which governs the Palestinian Authority), and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be over-run by our creeping multitudes,” a masked ISIS militant said in the message Tuesday, which was addressed to the “tyrants of Hamas,” Reuters reports.
The ISIS militant in the video appeared upset that Hamas had set its primary focus on wiping out Israel’s Jews instead of dominating the world through an Islamic Caliphate.
“The rule of sharia (Islamic law) will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza,” he added.
Hamas has attempted to crack down, often through violent means, against opposition displays in Gaza. In May, the Palestinian entity demolished a mosque that was allegedly a recruiting ground for ISIS jihadis. At the time, a tweet from a Gazan ISIS-aligned group said, “Armed men from Hamas came to Deir Al-Balah and destroyed the mosque, acting in a way that even the Jewish occupiers and the Americans have not acted.” Also in May, a group that claimed to be affiliated with ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing of Hamas headquarters.
Although ISIS’s main branch in the Middle East has clashed with Hamas, its “Sinai Province” is willing to work with the Gaza terror entity, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told Israel Defense Journal at a Tel Aviv conference.
According to Reuters, Katz said:
There is cooperation between them in the realm of weapons smuggling and terrorist attacks. The Egyptians know this, and the Saudis. At the same time, within Gaza, ISIS has been flouting Hamas. But they have common cause against the Jews, in Israel or abroad.
Separately, last month, Israeli officials found and seized more than 100 ISIS rings at Tel Aviv International Airport. The rings were set to be delivered to a Palestinian jeweler in the West Bank.