Hamas is reportedly hard pressed by growing ISIS popularity, including within its own ranks
Translated today by our Mideastwire.com (for a free trial email email@example.com:
On April 14, Hani Ibrahim wrote the following report in Al-Akhbar daily: “…The tense atmosphere is escalating in Gaza between the supporters of the Hamas movement who encompass an important sector and the growing number of ISIL supporters. The former group says that ISIL is directing its dagger against Hamas and the Palestinians in the Yarmouk Camp in Syria. The Hamas movement’s “internal security” services arrested a large number of individuals who are publicly praising ISIL’s actions. This pushed the supporters of the Salafist movement to threaten with a retaliation.
“Thus, Hamas moved from “managing the Salafist crisis” into confronting it. However, the Islamic movement downplayed the severity of the direct confrontation in light of pieces of information indicating that Adnan Mayt has been released. The man was arrested a week ago. The ISIL supporters in Gaza are proud about this step [i.e. the release of Mayt] as they believe that this was the outcome of their statement where they said: “We say to the government in Gaza, mainly the internal security services, that pressure will lead to an explosion. By God, we will not stand by as our brothers and our sheikhs are in your prisons…”
“This has pushed many Hamas members to warn against the “indirect threat” represented by the expanded support that ISIL is receiving from [members of] the movement, especially those members who are expressing their joy over the “victories of the Islamic State” in Syria and Iraq. Al-Qassam Brigades are organizing awareness rising sessions for their young members.
“There are no specific figures about the number of prisoners who are affiliated to the Salafist movements in the [Gaza] territory. However, the “Relatives of the Salafist Detainees in Gaza” group is saying that there are around thirty prisoners. Before the emergence of ISIL, dozens of these detainees were “in love” with the Al-Qa’idah experience. As a result of their differences with Hamas, they pulled out from its military and organizational ranks in order to join and found other organizations motivated by the Salafist-Jihadist dogma…
“One Hamas official admitted that “recently, some radical elements have been refusing any dialogue with us and accusing us of being infidels.” He added: “We have taken an inflexible stand whereby which all the elements that might represent a threat mainly to the relationship with Egypt will be chased after…” The Al-Qassam Brigades have a major fear from the expansion of the Salafist-Jihadist train of thought considering that “the internet is causing Gaza to be in touch with its surroundings” as per an Al-Qassam leader, Abou Ibrahim. He also said that “the Brigades are working on raising awareness among their members especially the young ones who can be tempted by slogans such as the establishment of the [Islamic] succession…”