TEL AVIV — Hamas in recent days arrested nine of its militants who were trying to cross into the Egyptian Sinai with their weapons, apparently to join Waliyat Sinai, the Islamic State’s affiliate in Egypt, according to an informed Hamas official.
The alleged defectors were arrested outside a tunnel connecting the Palestinian side of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, with the Egyptian districts of the city, the source said. The militants were carrying Ak-47 rifles and RPJ shells, he added.
According to a preliminary investigation conducted by the Hamas military wing’s intelligence corps, the detainees confessed to trying to join the Islamic State, stating that their move was driven by ideology, the official revealed.
The detainees sought to join a string of dozens of other former Hamas militants who recently reportedly joined the ranks of IS.
Meanwhile, a top pro-Hamas news site reported on Monday that a prime suspect in the assassination of top Hamas terrorist of Mazen Faqha on March 24. The report said that the first stage in the investigation was completed, and its results will be compiled into a report and submitted to Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar.