Special to WorldTribune.com
Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) has established a clear presence in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said.
During a July 30 meeting with Jordanian parliament members, Abbas said that world leaders were so preoccupied with the Iran nuclear deal that they are overlooking the situation in the Palestinian territories.
Islamic State-aligned jihadists in May took responsibility for a rocket fired at Israel from Gaza which had been previously attributed to Islamic Jihad. The Islamic State also called on Hamas to halt its crackdown on ISIL members.
An ISIL statement released in June signaled the terror group’s intention to take down Hamas and Fatah.
“We will uproot the state of the Jews [Israel] and you [Hamas] and Fatah [in the West Bank], and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be overrun by our creeping multitudes,” an ISIL terrorist said in a recorded message addressed to the “tyrants of Hamas.”
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officials said in early July that Hamas was also supplying weapons to an ISIL affiliate in Egypt (Wilayat Sinai) which is suspected to have carried out a deadly attack on Egyptian security forces on July 1.
Late last year, ISIL fliers threatening women and intellectuals turned up in the Gaza Strip, but Hamas denied ISIL’s presence.
“We would like to reassure everyone that ISIL does not exist in the Gaza Strip, and the security agencies are in full control of the situation,” Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for Hamas’s interior ministry, told Lebanese news channel Al-Mayadeen on December 4.