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‘Palestinians’ Flock to Islamic State

899-560x356Palestinians waving Islamic State flags attempt to storm the French Cultural Center in Gaza City, in January 2015. (Image source: ehna tv YouTube screenshot)

Hardly a week passes without another report of a Palestinian killed while fighting for the Islamic State terror group.

The reports have raised deep concern among many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A recent report estimated that some 100 Palestinians have already joined Islamic State. Other reports claim that the number is much higher.

According to the report, most of the Palestinians who joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are from the Gaza Strip. Another 1000 Palestinian men are believed to be preparing to join Islamic State, but have been unable to fulfill their dream for various reasons, the report revealed.

It is no surprise that most of the Palestinians who have joined the Islamic State are from the Gaza Strip, which has been under the control of Hamas since 2007.

In the past year, various reports have suggested that Islamic State and its supporters have managed to infiltrate the Gaza Strip, where they pose a major threat to Hamas’s rule over the area, home to some 1.6 million Palestinians.

Earlier this year, Islamic State supporters organized their first public appearance on the streets of Gaza City, where they called for an Islamic army to destroy Israel and the “enemies of Islam.”

Earlier this week, the Islamic State informed the Yehia family from the West Bank city of Jenin that their son, Said, had been killed while fighting for the terror group near Aleppo in Syria.

The family was told that Said had joined the Islamic State seven months ago. Said’s family members said he told them he was travelling to Europe to look for work. Later, however, they learned that he had headed to Syria to fight for the Islamic State.

The two strangers who arrived at the family’s home even provided Said’s parents and brothers with a photograph of Said’s dead body.

In recent months, at least four Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were also reportedly killed while fighting for the Islamic State.

One of them, Abed al-Elah Kishta, 29, of the southern town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, was killed while fighting for the Islamic State in eastern Libya. Weeks before he was killed, Kishta contacted his family to inform them that he had joined the group.

The second Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was identified as Musa Hijazi, 23. His father, Hassan, said that his son was killed while fighting for the Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. The Islamic State later mourned Hijazi as one of its martyrs, referring to him by his nickname Abu Mu’men al-Maqdisi.


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