TEL AVIV – Hamas security forces have arrested a number of Bedouins who reside in the coastal enclave after they tried to enter the Egyptian Sinai to fight the Islamic State group, a security source in the Gaza Strip told Breitbart Jerusalem.
This after 13 Bedouins were killed last Wednesday in a Sinai village by IS militants who claimed the Bedouins were cooperating with the Egyptian government.
The Trabin are a Bedouin tribe living mostly in Sinai, but it also maintains a significant presence in the Gaza Strip. In recent days, due to an uptick in tensions between Trabin tribal members and IS fighters, dozens of Bedouins from Gaza have begun crossing into Sinai in order to join their clan in the war against the terror group, the Gaza security source revealed.
The source says he believes that close to 50 young tribe members living in Rafah in southern Gaza successfully entered Sinai armed with personal automatic weapons. This trend was accelerated after an exchange of gunfire between the two sides in Sinai that killed Bedouin tribal member Salem Alshaeer, a resident of Gaza who was visiting family in Sinai.
The source noted that although the tribe exists on both sides of the border, its members maintain strong family ties and the tribe has always shown strong solidarity and tribal cooperation, which explains the influx of young people from the Gaza Strip to Sinai.
The security source expressed concern that the trend might lead to an escalation in the Gaza Strip as well, as over 100 Gaza residents are counted in IS ranks, many of whom are former Hamas members.
According to the source, Mahmoud Zaara, a Gaza resident who joined IS, was killed last Friday fighting against Trabin tribe members. The incident occurred when armed tribe members attacked a Wilyat Sinai position. Wilyat Sinai is the IS franchise in the Sinai.
Zaara was wanted by Hamas in the Gaza Strip for allegedly firing rockets at Israel and trying to harm Hamas targets in Gaza as part of tensions between Hamas and jihadists aligned with the Islamic State group – tensions that have seen Hamas arrest hundreds of IS supporters in the Strip in recent months.