A new group calling itself the Palestinian Islamic Army (PIA) has popped up in the Gaza Strip, signaling incontrovertibly the growing influence of the Islamic State (ISIS) among Palestinians.
A thirty-minute video put out by the PIA shows its followers pledging allegiance to ISIS “Caliph” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and paints Hamas leaders as “apostates” and “infidels” for failing to implement Islamic sharia law in the Gaza Strip. The video constitutes proof positive that the ISIS ideology has infiltrated Gaza — a truth that Hamas has unsuccessfully been trying to conceal for the past year.
In the video, Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal are denounced for aligning themselves with moderate Arab leaders in the Gulf, who are described as “criminals and enemies of Islam.” Apparently, Hamas has been too kind to Christians living in the Gaza Strip. The narrator blasts Hamas leaders for offering greetings to Christians on their holidays and condolences on the death of some of the community’s members. Hamas leaders are featured making visits to Christian “polytheists” in the Strip.
Yet Christians are not the only bedfellows prohibited to Hamas by the PIA. The video also damns Hamas leaders for their alliance with the Shiite Muslims of Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah. For the PIA, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is a “Satan” waging war on Sunni Muslims. And this “Satan” is in good company: “The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip is a sect of apostasy and blasphemy,” the PIA video declares. Muslims are urged vigorously to distance themselves from the heretical Hamas.