TEL AVIV — Hamas has suffered another embarrassment after three of its members purportedly successfully infiltrated the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday and joined Wilyat Sinai, the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State.
This just days after a Hamas delegation led by the organization’s political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, returned from a visit to Egypt where one of the main topics of discussion with Egyptian officials was security arrangementz on the border between Sinai and Gaza and the need to prevent jihadist infiltration from the Strip into Sinai.
A senior jihadist allied with Islamic State ideology in the Gaza Strip, Abou Baker al-Maqdesi, told Breitbart Jerusalem that three members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ so-called military wing, managed to infiltrate Sinai on Wednesday through the tunnels that cross from Gaza into Egypt, where they joined the ranks of IS, whose fighters are engaged in long campaign in recent years against the Egyptian army, a campaign which, just last week, claimed the lives of 18 Egyptian soldiers and policemen at the hands of IS fighters.
According to al-Maqdesi, “Despite the war being waged by the traitors of Hamas and the infidels of (Egyptian President Abdel Fattah) Sisi against our mujahedeen from both sides of the border, our brothers are successfully breaking the lines of Allah’s enemies and joining the mujahedeen in Wilyat Sinai.”
Al-Maqdesi said the three were residents of the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza and that they managed to pass through one of the tunnels that remains open despite the war being waged by the Egyptian army against the tunnels between the two sides of the border and despite the campaign being waged by Hamas against terror tunnels that do not serve its own members.
According to al-Maqdesi, two of the infiltrators were members of Hamas’ elite commando unit, whose members were meant to carry out attacks inside the Israeli home front during a future confrontation with Israel. The third infiltrator belonged to Hamas’ border guards, whose job is to prevent rocket fire at Israel and the infiltration of jihadists from Gaza to Sinai.
Last week, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Hamas managed to prevent an attack planned by jihadist supporters of IS against Hamas security forces in the border area. As part of the attack, the jihadists planned to infiltrate Sinai to join the ranks of IS there.
Earlier this month, IS threatened Hamas and Egypt, saying that if they continued in their efforts against the mujahedeen, the terrorist organization would be forced to respond with unprecedented force. The organization claimed that Hamas is increasing its cooperation with Egyptian intelligence against the jihadists in order to please Israel and the U.S.
Although IS and Hamas are both terrorist groups, IS accuses Hamas of selling out by also becoming a political party and running in elections. It further disapproves of Hamas because of the relationship between Gaza’s Islamist rulers and Egypt, which IS considers an apostate country.