by WorldTribune Staff, July 9, 2017
Four ex-members of Hamas were part of a group of Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists that carried out coordinated attacks in Sinai on July 7 that killed at least 23 Egyptian soldiers, an Israeli defense official said.
The four were previously members of Hamas’s military wing, but had left the group to join terrorists in Sinai, according to Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
On July 7, terrorists attacked several Sinai checkpoints with car bombs and heavy gunfire in a coordinated assault. ISIS later claimed responsibility in a statement. Egypt’s military said it killed 40 terrorists in the attacks.
In a Facebook post on July 8, Mordechai said the attacks showed that Hamas is not actually helping Egypt fight the jihadist insurgency in Sinai but is “enabling the free passage of terrorist elements between Gaza and Sinai and vice versa.”
“Hamas and Islamic State are two sides of the same coin,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said police officers on July 8 raided a desert training camp in the eastern province of Ismailiya, killing 14 jihadists. At least five of them had been wanted on charges of joining ISIS, the ministry said.