Israel has claimed that Hamas is aiding ISIS’s branch in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in order to free up arms-smuggling routes into Gaza, in preparation for its next war with Israel.
In an interview with Israel Radio, a senior IDF officer responsible for monitoring Israel’s southern borders with Gaza and Egypt claimed that, despite the ideological differences between them, a strategic alliance has been forged between Hamas in Gaza and ISIS’s “Sinai Province.”
“Why was it is so very important for them [Hamas] to develop the connection with Sinai Province? Because they need the raw materials that would enable the military build-up in Gaza,” the Israeli colonel said, according to Reuters.
“To carry out high-quality smuggling required a special operation,” he added, speaking on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, and on condition of anonymity.
Hamas is banking on the success of “Sinai Province” in driving the Egyptian military from parts of Sinai – particularly those bordering Gaza – with the “objective of opening up a conduit” into Gaza, he said.
Under the rule of current President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, Egypt has taken a hard line against Hamas – the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood – systematically destroying its vast network of smuggling tunnels from Sinai into Gaza, and even imposing a “buffer zone” between Egypt and Gaza.
Leave a Reply