Confirmed cooperation between terrorist groups Hamas and ISIS in Sinai Peninsula
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Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj. Gen. Yoav Poli Mordechai took to Facebook on Thursday telling Hamas that the IDF is well aware of their cooperation with the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula.
“Hamas leaders: Your efforts to hide your cooperation with ISIS smuggling from Sinai through lies and manipulation in attempts to broadcast ‘business as usual’ with Egypt are not hidden from our view,” he wrote in Arabic.
According to Maj.Gen. Mordechai, Bilal Brahma, a Salafist-linked Hamas member and top smugglers with the Islamic State group in Sinai, was reported by Hamas to have been killed in the restive peninsula. But according to Maj.Gen.Mordechai, despite Hamas setting up a mourning tent for him, he is supposedly alive and receiving an official salary from Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Deen al-Qassam Brigade while being treated in a hospital in Gaza by Jihad Cahlut, who is supposedly responsible for contact with ISIS terrorists in Sinai.
According to Mordechai, “Hamas is brazenly lying to its neighbors and to Egypt, which works to destroy tunnel infrastructures; this comes one week before representatives of the terrorist organization make an expedition to Egypt.
“Hamas’ senior delegation may want to consult with Bilal to know which tunnels are best for crossing from Gaza to Egypt and save the time waiting in Rafiah,” he added.
Rafiah is one of the only crossings out of the Hamas-run enclave allowing for Gazan citizens to leave the devastated territory into Egypt.
Israel has a 240-kilometer border with the Sinai and since Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi rise to power, Cairo and Jerusalem have been closely cooperating in the Sinai peninsula in the fight against ISIS militants. According to an infographic released by ISIS, the jihadist group operates in Arish, Bir Abd and Sheikh Zuweidin the Sinai Peninsula.
Egyptian president Abdel Fateh al-Sisi has waged extensive military operations against Islamic State militants in Sinai, and in January said that 25,000 soldiers have been deployed to northern Sinai to fight the jihadists, who despite the small size of the group in the peninsula is considered by many to be one of the most effective ISIS franchises outside Syria and Iraq and have carried out numerous deadly attacks on Egyptian security forces.
Source: /Jerusalem Post