The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj.-Gen. Yoav Morechai, told Palestinian media this week that cooperation between Hamas and the Islamic State group (ISIS) in Sinai is ongoing, with Gazan militants going to fight in the Sinai, while ISIS militants receive medical treatment in Gaza.
Mordechai mentioned in his interview a Salafi militant, Mahmoud Z., who has been coordinating between Hamas and ISIS, as well as a Sinai militant, Ibrahim Abu Qureia, who has received medical treatment in Gaza. COGAT's comments are likely meant to put a spotlight on the strong connection between ISIS in the Sinai and Hamas in Gaza, while the Hamas leadership is trying to mend strained ties with Egypt.
Meanwhile, Israeli security officials revealed that Hamas has allowed Salafist leaders to leave Gaza for Sinai to participate in fighting against the Egyptian army. The officials said that Mohammed Sami Gint, a Hamas militant from the Shati Refugee Camp, and Mahmoud Nimr Abdel Latif Zagrah, traveled to Sinai to fight with ISIS.
The Israeli security officials also claimed that Hamas continues to assist ISIS in treating its wounded in Gaza hospitals. Ibrahim Abu Al-Qureia, an ISIS militant, recently received treatment at a Gaza hospital with the help of Mahmoud Tawfiq Satiri, a Hamas militant.
Maj.Gen. Mordechai added that Israel has uncovered Hamas attempts to exploit the Erez Border Crossing between Israel and Gaza for terrorist purposes and warned that if such attempts continue, it will affect the Strip's reconstruction efforts and Israel's goodwill gestures to the Palestinians.
Additionally. he made clear that Israel did not exact consequences against the Palestinian people after the Jaffa and Jerusalem attacks on Tuesday, but rather the families of terrorists, who allowed their children to carry out the attacks. He also blamed the incitement in the Palestinian media for the ongoing violence and demanded that the Palestinian Authority condemn the attacks.
Maj.-Gen. Morechai denied that Israeli officials met with senior Palestinian officials to discuss the day after Abbas, saying Israel does not intervene in internal Palestinian affairs. He also emphasized that security cooperation is ongoing and serves Palestinian and Israeli interests.