‘In the video, the man accused of collaborating with Hamas' military wing is executed.’
Jerusalem: Tensions between the extremist Islamic State group's branch in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Palestinian Hamas group based in nearby Gaza, which has been building for more than a year, simmered into a fresh dispute as IS released a 22-minute-long video calling upon their followers to attack rival Hamas.
“In the video, the man accused of collaborating with Hamas' military wing is executed by another who is described as a former member who has repented,” the Washington Post reported. “It's an escalation that analysts say has the potential to destabilize an already fragile security situation in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave that Hamas has controlled for the past decade.”
The video -- which begins with a clip of US President Donald Trump’s December 6 announcement on Jerusalem indicating Hamas’ failure in averting the declaration comes -- after the latter cracked down on jihadist groups and ISIS supporters based in Gaza. It also accused Hamas of "following in the footsteps of the disbelieving West."
"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," said the knife wielding narrator of the video, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, that monitors extremist web sites.
Hamas -- regarded as a terrorist group by Israel and US -- has been trying to mend ties with neighbouring Egypt and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
According to analysts, Hamas has made efforts to avoid provoking Israel in the recent years, compared to the radical Islamic groups which has repeatedly conducted attacks on Egyptian buildings and people, most recently on a mosque which killed 300 people.
The IS poses great threat to the region as they are likely to influence supporters to launch attacks on Israel, which could be mistaken as perpetrations by Hamas, on the other side.
The Islamic State likely lacks the reach into Gaza to launch a large-scale attack, but it could encourage its supporters to launch more rockets into Israel, knowing that Israel's military will respond against Hamas, which it holds responsible for all military aggression from Gaza, Mohannad Sabry, the author of "Sinai: Egypt's Linchpin, Gaza's Lifeline, Israel's Nightmare," said.
"It achieves the same goal," he said.