In a development that could have a far-reaching consequence for the entire Middle East, a new report says that 100 Hamas members have joined the Islamic State (Isis) in Gaza after pledging allegiance to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
According to a report by WND - an online news portal known for its "investigative" stories - several Gazans and Hamas members have joined forces with the ultra-conservative Salafi movement. Salafi sources told WND that the "covenants" were made in private by the new followers and the move is a "serious step" towards establishing the Caliphate in Gaza.
In recent months, there has been an increased tension between Isis and Hamas. Last month, Isis released a video message, in which, it directly threatened to destroy Hamas in Gaza as its policies were becoming "too weak". Posing with AK-47 assault rifles, three Palestinian Isis members addressed the "tyrants of Hamas". "You are nothing in our reckoning. You, Fatah and all the secularists, we count you as nothing. Allah willing, we shall uproot the State of the Jews. You are nothing but froth that will be gone as we move in. Allah willing, Gaza will be governed by Shariah despite you," Abu Azzam Al-Ghazzawim, a Gazan, said in the video.
Another Isis member, Abu Qatadah Al-Filistini, called on faithful Muslims in Gaza to "join the convoy of the Mujahideen and to join the State of the Caliphate".
In June, the terror group members assassinated a top Hamas commander by blowing up his car. Soon after this, Hamas killed an Isis leader, and in retaliation, the Islamic State supporters fired two rockets into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Most recently, Isis abducted four Hamas commandos in Egypt while they were on their way to Iran for special training.