‘Hamas Aiding ISIS in Egypt to Prepare for Next War with Israel’
One year since Operation Protective Edge, IDF official says Hamas using ISIS in Sinai to reopen arms smuggling tunnels.
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.
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