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Is Hamas working with Wilayat Sinai?

While Hamas officials deny ties to IS in Sinai, Gaza residents claim that Sinai terrorists were admitted for treatment in Gaza, and Israel argues that Hamas provides weapons to these terror groups.
A member of Egypt's security forces gestures as he stands on a watchtower in North Sinai as seen from across the border in southern Israel July 2, 2015. Egypt launched air strikes on Islamist militant targets in the Sinai peninsula on Thursday, killing 23 fighters a day after the deadliest clashes in the region in years, security sources said. The sources said those killed had taken part in Wednesday's fighting in which 100 militants and 17 soldiers, including four officers, were killed, according to the ar

The question of whether Hamas’ military wing cooperated with Wilayat Sinai (literally Sinai Province), the organization that carried out the big terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula on July 1, is critical for Hamas. This issue is expected to impact not only the future of its relationship with Egypt, but the future of the movement overall. The largest terrorist attack in Sinai occurred when the leaders of the political wing thought the complicated relationship with the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was stabilizing and that improved relations and a calming of the tensions between them was on the horizon. Once again, however, an accusing finger is pointed toward Hamas, and its leaders are forced to defend themselves.

The leaders of the movement, Ismail Haniyeh, Mousa Abu Marzouk and Abu Obeida, the spokesman of the military wing, quickly denied any connection with the Sinai terror organization affiliated with the Islamic State (IS). In an interview with Al-Quds network, Abu Marzouk explained that everyone knows how his movement works in Gaza against what he called “the black extremism.” He was referring to the surge of arrests in recent weeks carried out by Hamas of members of Salafist organizations in Gaza after Salafists had fired rockets toward Israel and tried to entangle his movement. Israel repeatedly states that it holds Hamas responsible for rockets fired at it.

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