February 6, 2015 | Quote

Fledgeling Gaza ISIS Groups Operate Under Watchful Eye of Hamas

Grant Rumley, researcher of Palestinian and Jordanian politics at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is also doubtful of ISIS’s position in Gaza: “Some of these jihadi groups may be sympathetic with al-Baghdadi [the Islamic State leader], but if this translates to an operational level is questionable. I don’t think these people are necessarily credited – they’re more like fanboys,” he adds.

Rumley, in contrast to Abu Saada, believes that the appearance of support for the Islamic State in Gaza might actually be a useful tool for Hamas. “Having ISIS in Gaza shows that Hamas aren’t the worst group – they can say to the West: ‘Look, we’re keeping them in check’,” he says although admits that on a domestic front Hamas will not look kindly on any challenges to their authority.

And will Israel be stepping in at any point? “Israel will let Hamas deal with the ISIS problem in Gaza,” Abu Sadda says. “But if there’s any real threat to them the Israeli military will take action. They don’t wait around.”

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Palestinian Politics