Gaza City (GPA) – In a move that is likely to only please Zionists, the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State (Daesh) has declared war on rival militant group turned governing body, Hamas.
The latest condemnation of Hamas by Daesh came on Wednesday when the group’s Egyptian branch, which is currently causing trouble in the Sinai Peninsula, released a video of an execution. According to the jihadists in the video, the man was a member of Hamas’ military wing and his execution was retaliation for the Palestinian organization’s “inability” to protect Jerusalem from US and Israeli imperialism.
Daesh has criticized Hamas in the past, although the last time was in a video in July of 2015. In the 2015 video, a Daesh fighter speaking into the camera announced the group’s desire to “The rule of sharia…imposed on Gaza.” Following this video, US media spoke to several members of Palestinians belonging to groups loyal to Daesh. One of these Palestinians, Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, speaking to The New York Times in this period promised that Daesh and their affiliates would “stay like a thorn in the throat of Hamas and a thorn in the throat of Israel.”
It is unlikely anyone was shocked by this position coming from Daesh, especially considering their history of opposing every jihadist group they’ve come across in countries like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Today’s video, however, took these threats to a new level with the execution of the alleged Hamas member.
Similar to other Daesh execution videos, this one included several masked and unmasked Daesh members standing behind their prisoner in an orange jumpsuit. While on Daesh member was holding a knife, the prisoner was executed by a gunshot to the head after the man holding the knife called on those loyal to Daesh to “Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols, and sticky bombs. Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne.”
Besides the alleged “failures” of Hamas, the video also condemned the government in Gaza for cracking down on smaller, more militant, Islamist groups. While this latter accusation is true, a major part of Hamas’ softer tactics is a result of their desire to mend ties with nations like Egypt and groups like their counterparts who govern the West Bank, Fatah.
Hamas has also been forced to soften their position in the face of a blockade by Israel and Egypt that has been in place for over ten years. This factor contributes heavily to Hamas’ seeming impotence and is also a large part of the reason Hamas is trying to appease their benefactors/captors in countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia by making doctrinal changes such as their recent split with the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is important to remember that while Daesh’s message did criticize the failures of Hamas, the group does not actually support the Palestinian cause and instead hopes that the country will one day just be a part of the greater caliphate.
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Daesh in the Sinai has fired several rockets toward the border region between Gaza and Israeli territory but has largely been kept from actually entering Palestine and obviously won’t make it into Israel, partly thanks to Hamas. That said, while Daesh and their growing supply of affiliates in Gaza have yet to pose any serious threat, it is likely that if Daesh does begin to leak from the Sinai it will only hurt the Palestinians (and please the Zionists).