August 21, 2008

Hamas Formalizes Relationship With al Qaeda

I got this press release from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. I hesitated at first because the press release version of the article seems to indicate a very close relationship between Hamas and the al Qaeda affiliated Jaish al-Islam--which I know isn't the case. Yeah, I know it sounds odd, but some terror organizations think other terror organizations are just loco.

But the full story elaborates on the on again off again tensions and fighting between the two groups. Which is even more troubling, because a) it makes the report all the more legitimate in my eyes; and b) which means that al Qaeda's Gaza offshoot is now under the protection of Hamas; which leads to c) if Hamas ever has a really horrible mission that even the nuts in Islamic Jihad think is off the reservation, they have their own go-to people to carry it out all served with a heaping side of plausible deniability.


The last round of violent confrontation between Hamas and Jaish al-Islam also took place on August 2, 2008. The battle zone was the al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza. Hamas forces attacked the homes of Jaish al-Islam activists suspected of involvement in planting the explosive charge that lead to the death of five senior Hamas activists on the Gaza seacoast.10

Following a series of violent clashes, Hamas and Jaish al-Islam established a joint committee to regulate relations between the groups and to solve disputes and crises between them. Mumtaz Durmush, the leader of Jaish al-Islam who openly admitted ties with Al-Qaeda, participated in meetings with Hamas representatives that led to the final agreement to establish the joint committee. Abu Hassan al-Maqdisi, a senior member of Jaish al-Islam, divulged to a German news agency that, as a result of the talks with Hamas, agreement had been reached on all outstanding issues between the two groups.11 In essence, Hamas recognized Jaish al-Islam as a legitimate armed movement inside the area under Hamas jurisdiction.

In a previous agreement between the two groups, Hamas had given Jaish al-Islam $5 million and more than a million Kalashnikov bullets in compensation for its freeing of BBC journalist Alan Johnston. Jaish al-Islam also received formal recognition from Hamas as a legitimate jihadi organization, and it was agreed that joint actions carried out in the past would not be revealed.

Gaza: once claimed by Egypt, even they don't want it back!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:30 AM | Comments |