Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat – A prominent Salafi jihadist based in the Gaza Strip has stressed that his group’s efforts of establishing an Islamic Emirate in the Gaza Strip continues despite the severe blows handed to them at the hands of Israel and the Hamas Movement.
“We always are planning to establish God’s Sharia on earth. This is the duty of every Muslim. Our project, God willing, exists, and the day will come when the mujahidin will fulfil their project.” Abu Abdul-Muhajir told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Abu Abdul-Muhajir blasted the Hamas movement for what he described as the continued detention and “summoning campaign” against members of his movement, despite the recent Israeli attack that killed prominent Salafi official, Hisham al-Suaydani (Abu al-Walid al-Maqdisi).
“The security wing of the Hamas Government for months has not ceased hunting down our leaders and mujahidin. They are storming our houses, detaining some, and summoning the brothers of some of our brethren in an attempt to exert pressure on them to surrender. These organizations storm the houses without any consideration of their sanctity, and assault all those inside the houses.” Abdul-Muhajir told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Abu Abdul-Muhajir stresses that relations between the Salafis and Hamas has been severed. However the Salafi militant revealed that his group have contacted distinguished Muslim scholars abroad in an effort to pressure Hamas to stop its attacks, and to release the Salafi members it has arrested. Moreover Abu Abdul-Muhajir said that the Hamas movement has also confiscated weapons and equipment belonging to the Salafis.
Abu Abdul-Muhajir also criticized Egypt for helping Hamas’s attack on the Salafis in Gaza. “We have confirmed information that interrogators from the Egyptian Intelligence have interrogated some of our brethren, including the prisoner detained by the security organizations of Hamas Government, Sheikh Abu-Suhayb Rashwan, who is accused of being behind the heroic operation carried out by our brethren of the Mujahidin Shura Council of the Bosom of Jerusalem [Jund Ansar Allah Group] at the borders between Sinai and our occupied territories, which led to the killing and wounding of several Zionists.” Abu Abdul-Muhajir added.
The Gaza-based militant also accused Hamas of participating indirectly in the assassination of Al-Suaydani. “The Internal Security Organization affiliated to that government was practicing open surveillance of Abu al-Walid and others; they were exchanging information via the wireless networks, which were infiltrated by the occupation. Moreover, our leaders and mujahidin were interrogated about this information, and we believe that it reached the occupation forces, which assassinated some of these leaders and members following the exposure of this information.”
Relations between Hamas and the Salafi groups in Gaza are extremely tense. Hamas considers the Salafi groups as takfiri groups, and accuses them of striking at the social fabric, and of carrying out killing, arson, and targeting operations against individuals, institutions, and shops; these accusations are rejected by the Salafis, who do not recognize the rule of Hamas.
Hamas says that it “will not allow such terrorist seeds to grow in the Gaza Strip. Hamas also refuses to carry out any unilateral action against Israel in order to preserve the calm in Gaza and the interests of the people. Hamas says that war is subject to general national consensus.