ISIS Suspected in Car Bombing of Hamas, Islamic Jihad Men in Gaza

No groups have taken responsibility for the bombing, similar recent attacks have been linked to ISIS.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
A screenshot from El Fagr, an Egyptian website reporting on the bombings.
A screenshot from El Fagr, an Egyptian website reporting on the bombings.
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Six vehicles belonging to members of Hamas' and Islamic Jihad's military wings exploded in central Gaza City before dawn on Sunday morning, leaving two people wounded, Palestinian media reported.

No Palestinian organization has yet taken responsibility for the car bombings. According to reports, all six of the cars belonged to personnel from the Iz A-din Al-Qassam Brigade and the Al Quds Brigade.

Hamas police and security forces have cordoned off the scene and were preventing people from approaching. Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Albazam said that security forces in Gaza have been contending over the last year with repeated attempts by various militant elements to weaken the security of civilians in Gaza.

According to Hamas sources, at this point, the identity of those involved is unclear. One possibility is that ISIS-linked militants carried out the attacks, following the release of some, but not all, of ISIS-linked prisoners held by Hamas for the recent holiday.

Hamas did not point fingers at any group or organization but noted that this deed only serves Israel and the occupation. While the Interior Ministry spokesman said that criminal elements were behind the deed, Gaza sources told Haaretz that the operation was done very professionally, targeting field-level commanders. This suggests to Hamas the possibility that Israel, through its agents, was behind the incident, the sources said.

There have been a few instances of car bombings against Hamas forces over the last year, which Hamas has blamed on both the Palestinian Authority and militants linked to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

Last month, Hamas released videos showing prisoners in its custody confession to acting on PA orders to bomb vehicles in Gaza.

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