In a video published Tuesday, IS accused the Islamist Hamas of being soft in enforcing religious law in the Palestinian enclave it controls.
“We will uproot the state of the Jews [Israel] and you [Hamas] and Fatah [in the West Bank], and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be overrun by our creeping multitudes,” a masked Islamic State member said in the recorded message addressed to the “tyrants of Hamas.”
The rule of Sharia [Islamic law] will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp [in Syria], will happen in Gaza,” he said, in reference to the besieged Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.
Hamas has been battling Gaza-based Salafist groups identified with the Islamic State. Some groups has claimed recent rocket fire on Israel, in defiance of Hamas rule.
Israeli Intelligence minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) told a security conference Tuesday that despite the tensions between the two, Hamas and IS were cooperating in the Sinai Peninsula, which has seen an uptick in violence since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.
“There is cooperation between them in the realm of weapons smuggling and terrorist attacks. The Egyptians know this, and the Saudis,” Katz said.
“At the same time, within Gaza, ISIS (Islamic State) has been flouting Hamas. But they have common cause against the Jews, in Israel or abroad,’ he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The Islamic State was also planning attacks across the world to mark the month of Ramadan and the anniversary of the so-called “caliphate,” according to a report by the Institute of the Study of War, cited in the UK’s Daily Mail.
The report claimed that IS would move to consolidate its power in territories it already control in Iraq and Syria and move on taking additional regions. In Egypt and Yemen, IS was likely to take advantage of unrest to recruit “amongst the local population while launching large explosive attacks on security forces.”
“ISIS’s affiliates may attempt to administer governance or claim territorial control within the Sinai and Afghanistan, both as a means of proclaiming caliphate expansion and as a way to prepare for future military operations.” the report said.
The report, released earlier this month, before the deadly attack Friday in Tunisia in which 38 people were killed, correctly predicted that a massive attack would take place in the north African country.
“ISIS’s affiliates and networks in West Africa will likely continue efforts to plan explosive or mass casualty attacks, either within Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria or southern Europe. ISIS-linked actors may take advantage of refugee flows from Libya into Italy as a means for launching such an attack,” it said.
The group was likely to “send emissaries” to active jihadist groups in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, launch a propaganda campaign aimed at China, Turkey and Southeast Asian countries and encourage “lone wolf” attacks the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia.
The report also noted the group’s strategy in sparking a sectarian war by hitting Shiite targets and mosques, as it did in Friday’s attack on a Shiite mosque in Kuwait which killed at least 25.