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Report: Gazan ISIS preparing to wage war on Israel and Palestine

 

 

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Saraya ash-Sham statement in January of this year supporting the Ummah Initiative.

ISIS- Gaza contingent

Just as ISIS has a special contingent for Libyan fighters- namely, the Katiba al-Bittar al-Libi, which previously played a pivotal role in the defence of ISIS’ southern Hasakah stronghold of al-Markadah from the attacks of Jabhat al-Nusra and other rebels and is now pushing deep into Deir az-Zor province,losing a number of fighters in the process- so ISIS also has a special contingent dedicated to fighters from Gaza.

This should come as no surprise. After all, images of support from Gaza for ISIS have been in evidence for nearly a year now, and when it came to the infighting between ISIS and other groups in Syria that broke out this year, the two main Gaza-Sinai jihadi groups- Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen- came down firmly on the side of ISIS. The Gazan contingent in turn reflects the division among the Palestinians outside Syria regarding the Syrian civil war: namely, that while there is no evidence Hamas has an organized presence in Syria to support the rebels and its insistence on neutrality is to be believed (much to the chagrin of the Islamic Front), Palestinian Salafi circles have been active in assisting the rebels.

 

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A supporter of ISIS inscribes the group’s name on the beach in Gaza. Photo from September last year.

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The Gazan religious instructor in this study circle was killed fighting for ISIS in Syria in September last year.

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Gazan children show their support for ISIS. Photo from January 2014.

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“From Gaza of glory to the mujahideen of the Islamic State: verily we love you in God. The Salafi Jihadi Movement- Gaza”- photo in support of ISIS from December 2013.

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Wissam al-Atal: a doctor from Gaza who became a suicide bomber for ISIS in Syria last year.

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“From Gaza of glory, our allegiance is to our amir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”- a Gazan fighter shows his support for ISIS. Photo from February 2014.

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Banner on the beach of Gaza hoisted in support of ISIS this month.

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“Joy of the people of Gaza at the conquests of the Islamic State”- purported photo from the demonstrations held by Salafis in support of ISIS following news of the advances in Iraq. The rallies were subsequently broken up by Hamas police.

In Syria, the Gazan contingent of fighters that has emerged takes the name of the “Sheikh Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi Brigade,” named after the founder and leader of the Salafi Jund Ansar Allah group in Gaza- Abdel Latif Moussa– who was killed in clashes with Hamas in 2009.

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Training for the Sheikh Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi brigade (photo released in April 2014): “Mujahideen of Gaza in the Islamic State’s Camps in ash-Sham.” Accompanying slogans on Twitter include “Coming, oh Jews,” reflecting the ambitions for the conquest of the whole Israel-Palestine area as part of ash-Sham.

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As above.

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As above.

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Abu Khattab of Gaza, who died fighting for the Sheikh Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi brigade in Syria.

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The Gazan contingent burning cigarettes in Syria.

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Gazan fighter shows children how to destroy cigarettes.

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Gazan contingent handling raw meat. As with the Katiba al-Bittar al-Libi, standard ‘daily life of a mujahid’ messaging.

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The Gazan contingent handles a gazelle for slaughter.

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A photo that gives an idea of where the Gazan contingent has been deployed. Photo from outside ISIS’ Islamic police station in Manbij, Aleppo province.

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“From the mujahideen of Gaza in the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham: the Sheikh Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi Brigade.”

It should be noted that undoubtedly with influence from Gaza, this pro-ISIS trend is catching on somewhat in the West Bank, which recently saw three teenagers kidnapped near Hebron by a group taking its name after ISIS, though the Israeli government is officially blaming Hamas as part of a propaganda line whereby there is a reluctance to acknowledge there is a more radical trend than Hamas emerging within the Palestinian population. Perhaps the emergence of this trend should not be surprising when one considers the widespread Palestinian support for Saddam Hussein as champion of their cause. Now, with the rise of ISIS and its extensive conquests and promises to liberate Jerusalem, it seems many Palestinians will be inclined to see ISIS as their new Saddam-style saviour figure.

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ISIS graphic on social media to remind Palestinians and the Ummah that ISIS has not forgotten al-Quds (Jerusalem).

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A young Palestinian girl shows her support for ISIS, which will supposedly open the path up to al-Quds.

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ISIS billboard in Hasakah province from March 2014: “We fight in Iraq and ash-Sham and our eyes are on the Holy House [Bayt al-Maqdis].”

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“Oh Quds, don’t cry…” Palestinian graphic in support of ISIS.

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“Baqiya [ISIS slogan], Palestinian support, together in support of ISIS.” Palestinian graphic in support of ISIS using Iwo Jima imagery.

The main area to watch in terms of Palestinian support for ISIS is the Gaza-Sinai area, where pro-ISIS jihadis have been building their networks for some time. While the Hamas security apparatus is still resilient, as Jonathan Spyer, I would not be surprised if active pro-ISIS jihadis, assuming ISIS’ overall status and holdings are not diminished, attempt to take over Gaza within the next 5-10 years and proclaim an emirate of Gaza aligned with ISIS.

SOURCE: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/muhajireen-battalions-syria-part-3/

Report by By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Via:

Joshua Landis

Director: Center
for Middle East Studies
and Associate Professor,
University of Oklahoma

405-819-7955

Email: Landis@ou.edu 

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