TEL AVIV — Hamas security forces successfully foiled three attempts by jihadists to cross into Sinai from the Gaza Strip two weeks ago, a security source from the organization told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Those involved in the three attempts were Islamic activists who were trying to join Wilyat Sinai, the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State, which is fighting the Egyptian army in the Sinai Peninsula. The source admitted that among those caught trying to cross the border were a number of members of Hamas’ military wing who intended to defect and join IS in Sinai.
The source noted that the first group that was caught and arrested last Thursday included four members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. They were stopped en route to one of the smuggling tunnels that cross the Gaza-Egypt border and they were found in possession of their personal weapons provided to them by Hamas.
Last Sunday, another seven jihadists were caught, all belonging to the Salafi sect, the source said. On Monday, two Salafist jihadists were stopped, also while trying to infiltrate Sinai through tunnels from Gaza.
The security source in Hamas said that during investigations into one of the captured jihadists, a large number of explosives were found in his home. The source also said that the investigation indicated the explosives were meant to be transported by the brother of the captured jihadist to two other jihadists immediately after their release from a Hamas prison facility.
A senior jihadist, Abou Baker al-Maqdesi, confirmed to Breitbart Jerusalem that due to the activities of Hamas’ security forces, their increasing cooperation with Egyptian security forces and the equipment provided to Hamas from Egypt, the jihadists are finding it difficult to cross into Sinai in large numbers.
Al-Maqdesi admitted that all three previous attempts failed, “but our brothers don’t give up and they will continue trying.”
The senior jihadist said that Hamas’ successes in stopping fighters from crossing the border affects IS forces in Sinai. “This is a difficult period during which the Jews are also helping Egypt with airstrikes against our brothers in Sinai and Hamas’ people, who have sold their Islam, are also increasing their cooperation with the Egyptian army, which also makes it difficult for our brothers to join the fighting in Sinai,” he said.
“It’s clear to us that this is a sign from God and it’s clear to us that in the end victory will be the fate of the mujahedeen who are the beloved and chosen of Allah who promised us victory,” al-Maqdesi continued. He also reiterated that the organization in Sinai needs trained fighters like those from the Gaza Strip, most of whom are or were members of some of the organizations in the Gaza Strip. Having already been trained, their contribution to IS in Sinai is immediate and they require no further training.