ISIS in Gaza: When One Radical Group Believes Another Is Not Radical Enough

(Gatestone Institute) Khaled Abu Toameh - In Gaza these days, supporters of the Islamic State are accusing Hamas of failing to impose strict Islamic laws on the Palestinian population. Almost everyone is talking about the Islamic State threats against poets, writers and women. Two separate leaflets signed by the Islamic State threatened to target Palestinian poets and writers for their "wantonness" and "atheism." The leaflets mention them by name - a move that created panic among many Palestinians in Gaza. According to sources in Gaza, many disgruntled members of Hamas and other radical salafi-jihadi groups have already joined the Islamic State, with some fighting together with ISIS groups in Syria and Iraq. Islamic State flags can be seen in many parts of Gaza, especially at football stadiums and public buildings. Islamic State stickers can also be seen on windshields, and families have begun attaching the Islamic State emblem to wedding invitations. Photos of Palestinians who were killed while fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria appear in mosques and educational centers. Even if the Islamic State still does not have many fighters in Gaza, it already has countless followers and admirers. If and when the Hamas regime collapses, it is clear that Gaza will not fall into the hands of less-radical Palestinians. Countries in Europe now voting for a Palestinian state may effectively be paving the way for a takeover by the Islamic State.

2014-12-05 00:00:00

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