Hamas is allowing Sinai-based jihadists who were wounded in battles against the Egyptian military to get treated at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, according to a recent report by Israel’s Channel 2 News.
Shifa Hospital is the same site where it was revealed that Hamas had been storing rocket caches last year in its Summer 2014 war against Israel. Hamas had reportedly been using the hospital as cover from where militants would fire long-range rockets toward Tel Aviv. The group also fired its rocket salvos from Shifa in violation of short-term ceasefires that had been agreed upon by both parties.
The Israeli media report said that Hamas was withholding the names of the patients in order to protect their possible connections to the Islamic State.
Just recently, a major Sinai Peninsula-based jihadi force, Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and changed its name to the Sinai Province (of the Islamic State).
The Egyptian government under Abdel Fattah el Sisi has designated Hamas as a terror group, often accusing the Gaza jihadi outfit of aiding and abetting Islamist entities in the Sinai Peninsula. The United States, United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, and many others have also listed Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Earlier in the week, the Islamic State’s main branch took over much of a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Their fate remains relatively unknown, but a gruesome photo has surfaced on social media showing the head of a Hamas official impaled on a fence.
Some of the Palestinians at the refugee camp seemingly view the ISIS jihadis indifferently, as conditions at the Yarmouk camp have long been poor while under Syrian supervision.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Friday that it would not fight alongside Syrian troops to defeat ISIS and remove its influence from the refugee center. “We know that if they (Syrian) army, with its planes and tanks, would interfere, this would mean the complete destruction of the camp,” said senior PLO official Wasel Abu Youssef.