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Hamas Commits to Increasing Campaign Against Islamic State Rivals

Palestinian Hamas supporters attend the funeral of militants killed during fire exchange against Israeli forces the previous day in the central Gaza Strip refugee camp of Maghazi, 21 December 2007.
MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty
ALI WAKED

TEL AVIV — Hamas officials visiting Egypt have committed to increasing their efforts against competing jihadist organizations active in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas official told Breitbart Jerusalem.

“Since the destruction of the tunnel at Kerem Shalom, the Zionist enemy has tried to convince the Egyptians that we maintain connections and cooperate with the jihadists and armed groups in Sinai and this visit of the delegation led by our brother Ismail Haniyeh is proof that the efforts of the occupation to create conflict between us and the Egyptians have failed,” said the source, utilizing a  mix of conspiracy theory and anti-Israel language.

Hamas announced this week that a delegation of officials from the terrorist group led by Politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh left for Egypt along with other politburo members like Khalil al-Hayeh, Fathi Hamad and Rawhi Mushtaha to discuss the easing of the blockade on the Gaza Strip and the renewal of reconciliation talks with Fatah.

During the visit, Egypt demanded that Hamas take additional steps to ensure that cooperation ends between the jihadists in Sinai and their supporters in Gaza, the Hamas source said.

According to the source, the delegation from his organization promised “to tighten the siege of all those in the Strip committed to the Islamic ideology of the Islamic State.”

This commitment was said to have been made during a meeting that was held on Monday evening between the Hamas delegation led by Haniyeh and those in charge of the Palestinian arena in Egyptian intelligence.

“The Egyptians told our brothers in the delegation that they place great importance on the role that Hamas is playing in the struggle against these extremist elements, especially as the Egyptian army conducts an unprecedented military campaign against them in Sinai,” said the source. “The Egyptians demanded that the leaders of the movement make sure that Hamas increases their efforts to prevent the flow of young men from the Strip to Sinai or the escape of IS members from Sinai to Gaza, specifically during this period of Egyptian military activity in Sinai.”

The source noted that the Egyptians presented specific names of young jihadists in the Gaza Strip, some of whom have already been imprisoned and have information that could help Hamas fight cooperation between jihadists on both sides of the border.

Meanwhile, a senior jihadist associated with IS ideology, Abu Baker al-Maqdesi, told Breitbart Jerusalem that Hamas has in fact increased its pursuit of IS members and supporters in the Gaza Strip in recent days.

“Since the beginning of the Hamas delegation’s visit in Egypt, 13 of our brothers have been arrested,” he said. “Hamas accuses them of maintaining contacts with our brothers in the Islamic State in Sinai. Hamas is a group of people who have abandoned Islam and at the command of the infidel Egyptian tyrant, continues its efforts to fight the young Muslims in favor of those who destroy the homes of the Muslims in Sinai.

“The entire operation of the Egyptian infidels and the cooperation with Hamas won’t put out the torch of Islam in the hearts of the young Muslims in Gaza, Sinai, Egypt, and the entire world.”

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