The Hamas Movement placed on Thursday all its security forces on alert on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt after an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up near a Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades security force, killing one guard and injuring several others.
Later on Thursday, the Brigades, Hamas' military wing, boosted the presence of its security guards at the border to prevent so-called “Jihadist Salafis,” which operate under ISIS in the Sinai peninsula, from moving in the area.
Meanwhile, forces linked to the interior ministry in Gaza launched a large campaign against members of the ISIS-linked hardline organizations operating in the Strip, deploying additional guards at the checkpoints where security members searched passengers and vehicles in hunt for suspects.
Iyad Bazm, spokesman for the Gaza-based Interior Ministry, said in a statement that security forces took several security measures to maintain a stable situation aimed at preventing the recurrence of similar incidents.
Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Movement “took a decision to break the power of all groups that threaten Hamas’ rule and its relations with Egypt.”
The source added that “Hamas is now determined to pursue and arrest all members and supporters of those organizations before referring them to military courts and prisons.”
On Thursday, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades issued a threatening statement to ISIS, saying: “We would not hesitate to defend our people, our land and to protect the project of resistance against all threats.”
In a message of great significance, Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh attended in Rafah Thursday a funeral held for the Qassam guard who was killed in the ISIS attack.
Later, ISIS issued a statement to mourn the suicide bomber and said Hamas was paying the price of its actions.
The terrorist organization also threatened Hamas by saying: “Blood for blood, and destruction for destruction.”