IS threatens to overthrow Hamas in Gaza
The Islamic State group on Tuesday threatened to overthrow the Hamas government in Gaza, in a 16-minute video statement posted to the internet from the group’s stronghold in Syria.
“We will uproot the state of the Jews (Israel) and you and Fatah, and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be over-run by our creeping multitudes,” a masked member of the group said in the video, which was addressed to the “tyrants of Hamas”.
“The rule of sharia (Islamic law) will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza,” the man said, referring to IS advances in Syria.
IS criticised Hamas for cooperating with Iran and the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah. The group is well-known for its sectarianism, in particular its fierce hatred of Shia Muslims, who it views as heretics.
“The road to liberate Palestine goes through Iraq and we (IS) are getting closer, day by day […] while they (Hamas) are moving away from that goal,” said an IS member in the video.
Hamas has attempted to crackdown on IS sympathisers in Gaza over recent months. The video released on Tuesday is the most severe, and public, admonishment of Hamas by IS made so far.
Separately on Tuesday Israel’s intelligence minister, Israel Katz, accused Hamas of working with IS in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian security forces are battling a militant insurgency.
“There is cooperation between them in the realm of weapons smuggling and terrorist attacks,” Katz told a Tel Aviv conference organised by the Israel Defence journal. “The Egyptians know this, and the Saudis.”
“At the same time, within Gaza, Isis has been flouting Hamas,” the minister said, using an alternative acronym for IS. “But they have common cause against the Jews, in Israel or abroad.”
Hamas has repeatedly denied that they are working with IS in Egypt.