By Aaron Klein
TEL AVIV — Hamas has formed a common committee with al-Qaida-linked groups in the Gaza Strip to strategize the coordination of infiltrating weapons into Gaza, according to informed Israeli security sources.
The sources noted that after Israel’s campaign in Gaza two weeks ago – which ended with a U.S. and Egypt-brokered cease fire – Hamas immediately freed from its jails scores of members of al-Qaida and the related Jihadiya Salafiya terrorist groups.
Previously, Hamas had been fighting those same groups in Gaza, seeing them as a challenge to their own rule. The groups had accused Hamas of selling out by talking to the West and by engaging in elections.
Hamas several times had even engaged in heavy fire clashes with the Islamist organizations in Gaza and put many of their leaders in prison.
Still, Hamas and the al-Qaida organizations have at times worked together, including during the most recent round of fighting in Gaza where both fired rockets into Israel.
Now Hamas and the al-Qaida groups are working together again, this time to smuggle more weapons into Gaza, said the security sources.
KleinOnline reported that even before Israel’s operation in Gaza ended two weeks ago, Iran and Hezbollah were trying to resupply Hamas with more long-range missiles to fire into Israel, according to Israeli defense sources.
Unlike other radical Islamic organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, which have demonstrated pragmatism in some aspects of political life while still holding an Islamist worldview, the al-Qaida organizations in Gaza believe in a strict interpretation of the Quran and that only the Quran can dictate how to act.
The Islamist groups believe jihad is the primary way to spread Islam around the world, including jihad against secular Muslim states.
Jihadiya Salifiya and its al-Qaida ally Jaish al-Islam have been regularly publishing pamphlets labeling Hamas as “non-Muslim” since the terror group ran in 2006 democratic elections, which the Islamist organizations see as an expression of Western values.
Also, for the past two years, al-Qaida leaders released audio tapes blasting Hamas for participating in elections.