The four Hamas naval commandos kidnapped in Egypt recently were taken hostage by the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists, some media reports said on Friday.
Isis affiliate group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis took the four Hamas members captive from a bus carrying 50 Palestinian nationals near northern Sinai region, Sputnik News reported. The Isis currently controls the Sinia region, where the group has been involved in a heavy fighting with the government troops.
The kidnapping took place on 19 August.
The Gazan authorities had initially blamed the Egyptian intelligence operatives for the abduction of the Hamas commandos, who were reportedly on their way to Iran for a special training.
According to the Times of Israel, the commandos--Abed Al-Daim Al-Bassat, Said Abdullah Abu Jbin, Yasser Fathi Zanun and Hussein Hamis al-Thbada--entered Egypt through Rafah crossing, but the Egyptian intelligence officials took them into custody. Egypt, however, did not release any statement on the allegations.
With the Isis now claiming responsibility for the abduction, Gaza has urged the Egyptian authorities to secure the release of its men, Ynetnews reported.
In Gaza, the fighting between Hamas and Isis fighters has even threatened to destroy the fragile peace in the troubled region with Israel. Isis supporters have been blamed for repeated rocket attacks on Israel in the past.
The rift between Hamas and Isis blew wide open after the massacre of the Palestinians at Yarmouk camp where many of them, including the operatives of the Palestinian Islamic organisation in Syria, were beheaded by the Isis terrorists in March.