Israeli Intelligence Official: ISIS, Hamas Form Smuggling Partnership

Hamas militants in Gaza (Archive: AFP)
Hamas militants in Gaza (Archive: AFP)

A year after Operation Protective Edge, an IDF Southern Command’s intelligence officer says the isolation of Hamas has led it to forge an alliance with its rivals – such as an agreement between the rulers of Hamas and the Islamic State’s affiliate in the Sinai to create a smuggling route for rocket-building materials.

Last week’s terror attack on Egyptian security forces by the local Islamic State affiliate targeted 15 points between Arish and Rafah, said the officer, Colonel A.

“This attack intended to open a smuggling route into the Gaza Strip for Hamas,” he said. “In exchange, ISIS gets various resources from Hamas.”

The cooperation is going on despite the persistent struggle between Hamas and Salafi elements affiliated with IS inside the Gaza Strip, added A.

Hamas is first and foremost geographically isolated. Egypt has intensified this isolation through its nearly hermetic closure of Rafah Crossing and its military’s operation at the Rafah border to destroy smuggling tunnels and to create a buffer zone between the Egyptian and Palestinian sides of Rafah.

This isolation damaged the ability of Hamas to build up its military capabilities. “The buffer zone cause a problem for Hamas,” said A.

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SOURCE: Elior Levy
Ynet News

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