The Palestinian Army of Islam’s leader Montaz Durmush announced Thursday that his movement had sworn allegiance to ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, in retaliation for the start of work on constructing a buffer zone along the Gaza Strip’s southern borders with Egypt, following a Hamas delegation’s visit to Cairo. This is reported by DEBKAfile. The zone will be 100 m wide and 12 km long and equipped with surveillance cameras. Durmush is the first Gazan Salafi leader to join ISIS. He announced that his movement would henceforth fight under the ISIS flag in the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.
Hamas now faces a dilemma. The buffer zone was demanded by Egypt to impede the movement of ISIS fighters to and from the Gaza Strip. But now, it turns out that ISIS has established a presence inside the Palestinian enclave. To keep faith with Cairo and honor their understanding, Hamas has to decide whether to crack down on the Army of Islam.