On May 1, the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center (ITMC), a jihadist media unit tied to the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC), released a new statement related to the recent targeted killing of Hithem Ziad Ibrahim Masshal by Israel.
The statement, which was posted to jihadist forums and the ITMC’s Facebook and Tumblr pages, noted that the Israeli airstrike that killed Masshal came a few days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to respond against those responsible for the recent rocket attack on Israel from the Sinai Peninsula.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, Masshal was involved in the April 17 rocket attack on Eilat from the Sinai that has been claimed by the MSC.
The statement from the ITMC alleged that it was curious that Netanyahu’s threat came around the same time that Hamas was waging a “frantic campaign” against Salafi jihadists in the Gaza Strip. In addition, the communiqué repeated claims that Egyptian intelligence officers have been interrogating Salafi jihadists imprisoned by Hamas. According to a statement released by the ITMC on April 27, the officers are interested in learning about the structure of Salafi jihadist groups in the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, and the MSC in particular.
The new statement from the ITMC seems to suggest that the Salafi jihadists believe Masshal was set up by elements within Hamas. This matches the claim of an April 30 statement from a Facebook page for supporters of Salafi jihadists in Gaza suggesting that it appeared Masshal had been offered “on a golden platter” to Israel by Hamas.
The new statement emphasized a number of points, first being that the ITMC holds Hamas responsible for the fate of Salafi jihadists in their prisons. The ITMC went on to charge that the hands of some Hamas elements are “stained with the blood of the Salafi Mujahideen.”
According to the ITMC, the “treachery” employed by Hamas in the case of Masshal is not new, but has been seen before in the deaths of other Salafi jihadists in the Gaza Strip. The ITMC statement noted the deaths of Mohammed Namnam (November 2010), Eid Hijazi (August 2012), Hisham Saidani (October 2012), and Ashraf al Sabah (October 2012), as examples.
The statement from the ITMC concluded by saying that there is a need for an intensified campaign in the Gaza Strip to pressure Hamas to release imprisoned Salafi jihadists. The ITMC also called on the Islamic Ummah to help “before it is too late.”
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.