TEL AVIV — Hamas security forces are preventing the family members of Palestinian terrorists associated with the Islamic State who have been killed in Sinai from erecting mourning tents where community members can offer their condolences, Abu Baker al-Maqdisi, a senior jihadist in Gaza, told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Such mourning tents often serve as fertile grounds for the spread of IS ideology. 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.
According to al-Maqdisi, Hamas security forces prevented the family of Loay Herzallah, a former fighter from Hamas’ so-called military wing who was recently killed in Sinai fighting against the Egyptian army, from erecting a mourning tent for their son in the Shati refugee camp where they live.
Herzallah joined Wilyat Sinai, the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State, after leaving the Gaza Strip through the underground tunnels that connect the enclave to the Sinai Peninsula last June during the month of Ramadan, al-Maqdisi revealed.
According to al-Maqdisi, a Hamas security force approached Herzallah’s family as they were preparing to erect the tent and said that it was forbidden. Al-Maqdisi said that this was the fourth such incident in recent months.
Hamas previously allowed the tents for Palestinian jihadists who were killed in Syria and Iraq, said al-Maqdisi, and in a few cases for those killed in Sinai, but more recently the tents have been forbidden altogether for the latter.
Al-Maqdisi said this is a “tyrannical and forceful approach” for Hamas to take, and the move “proves that it has turned into a branch of Egyptian intelligence and international intelligence fighting IS.”
He added that Hamas’ efforts won’t affect the families of the deceased. “Even if official mourning tents aren’t put up, the families will receive condolences in other ways,” he said.
He also stated that these moves by Hamas “won’t harm the spirit of the jihadists in their desire to join the jihad of the Islamic State against the forces of tyranny and the enemies of Islam.”
During battles that took place in recent days in Sinai between IS and the Egyptian army, another Palestinian from Gaza was killed. He was identified as 21-year-old Mahmoud al-Tahwari, a resident of the city of Rafah and southern Gaza. Al-Maqdisi believes that his family will also be prevented by Hamas from erecting a mourning tent.