On June 18, the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center (ITMC), a jihadist media unit tied to the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC), released a video of purported Salafi jihadists in Syria slamming Hamas’ recent actions against Salafi jihadists in the Gaza Strip.
Salafi jihadists “are prevented [by Hamas] from [carrying out] jihad,” an unidentified speaker charged.
In the video, which was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, the fighters in Syria also called on Hamas members as well as members of other Palestinian factions in Gaza to join the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem. “[U]nite with your brothers in the Mujahedeen Shura Council in order to be good supporters for good emigrants, who come to support you, deter the Jewish enemy, and establish the rightly-guided Islamic Caliphate,” the unidentified speaker said.
The jihadists also denounced Hamas for allowing Shiites to operate in the Gaza Strip in “comfort.”
The video, which was recorded on June 15, mentions the recent arrest of Sheikh Hussein al Jo’ayteni. The ITMC reported al Jo’ayteni’s arrest on June 12. Al Jo’ayteni, the speaker said, had been “unjustly detained.”
In recent days, Salafi jihadist groups have issued a number of statements denouncing the arrest of al Jo’ayteni, who is purportedly being tortured in Hamas’ prisons. According to the ITMC, Hamas is torturing al Jo’ayteni “day and night” in order to obtain information from him regarding Salafist groups in the Gaza Strip.
The fighters in the video did not, however, mention the recent arrest of Abdel Raqib Khalid Banat, the son of Khalid Banat (Abu Abdullah al Suri), a former leader in Jund Ansar Allah. Banat’s arrest, which occurred on June 11, was only reported by the ITMC on June 18.
The latest video is not the first time jihadists in Syria have expressed dismay with Hamas’ actions toward Salafi jihadists in Gaza. On May 20, a video featuring Abu Talha al Libi, the Sharia official of the Muhajireen Brigade in the Levant, was released by the ITMC. In the video, titled “Fear Allah, O Hamas,” al Libi slammed Hamas’ campaign against Salafi jihadists in the Gaza Strip. According to al Libi, Hamas’ current actions are “not the way” of Hamas founders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdul Aziz al Rantisi, both of whom were killed by Israel in 2004.
Tensions between Hamas and the Salafi jihadists in Gaza have increased in recent weeks after a lull in late May. According to Abu al Ayna al Ansari, a Salafi jihadist leader in the Gaza Strip, well-known Islamic personalities from the Gulf, including Qatar and Kuwait, are mediating discussions between Hamas and Salafi jihadists.