Jihadist factions in the Gaza Strip are uniting to support Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
Factions affiliated with Al Qaida have thrown their support to ISIL. Islamic sources said the factions were helping recruit Gazan youngsters to join the ISIL wars in Iraq and Syria.
“All the Salafi currents are following the Islamic State ideology, but have not yet pledged allegiance to it,” Abu Nour Al Maqdisi, deemed a top Salafist figure, said.
In an interview with the London-based Al Monitor website, Al Maqdisi said the jihadist factions have united and were supporting ISIL and its affiliates. He said Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were recruited for ISIL operations in Syria.
“They have strictly adopted IS[IL] ideology, and some of them were even killed [in Syria],” Al Maqdisi said.
Islamic sources said ISIL was gaining popularity among young Gazans, including former supporters of Hamas. They said Hamas fighters who had fought the Egyptian Army in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula also joined ISIL. Hamas has denied an ISIL presence in the Gaza Strip.
For his part, Al Maqdisi said 50 Gazans left their homes to join ISIL in Syria. He said at least 15 of them were killed, several of them as suicide bombers in Iraq.
“Dozens are still fighting in Syria,” Al Maqdisi said.